Virtual Learning at Lake Michigan College
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- You can attend most colleges either in a classroom or online. But what about combining the two to make it more convenient? Lake Michigan College is doing just that.
It’s called the Virtual Learning Environment.
It brings together the intimacy of being in a classroom environment with the convenience of logging in from a computer if you can’t get to campus.
Students in the program can show up to class in-person, log into class online and participate through a webcam, or they can catch up by watching a recorded video of the class they missed.
“So if you’re registered for the class as an online student, but you want facetime, you can get it,” said Jay Keeler, the Lake Michigan College professor overseeing the program. “If you’ve registered for the class in-seat, but you’re sick one week – but not sick enough to not participate – you can come in through the webcam from home. We let people pick the delivery mode – which of the three modes is most convenient for them any given day of the week.”
Keeler said it’s all about convenience, while still making sure you’re getting a quality education.
Some of his current students using the program include a stay-at-home mom of a newborn, a truck driver who’s always on the road, and a man who works in the emergency room at Lakeland Hospital but rarely has the time to come to campus for class.
The program has been piloted at Lake Michigan College for the last year and a half.
With more than 150 students now using it, it’s being rolled out in full.
Lake Michigan College is hosting an open house from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday to formally introduce it to more people.
Edder Segura is one of the students who has been using it.
“I’m taking like 19 credit hours per semester, usually,” he said. “[I have] two part-time jobs, so I don’t always have the time to come into school. And so if I’m home or I’m somewhere else, I can just open up my laptop, join the live session. Or if I can’t make it to that, the recorded pre-lectures are in there already…it’s very, very helpful and so much less stress.”