University of Portland recently expanded its study-abroad options for Engineering majors from a short week during the summer term to a full Spring semester in Salzburg, Austria. Engineering students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and language of Austria while staying on track to graduate with their UP classmates by taking advantage of courses offered at the Upper Austrian University in Wels, Austria. One thing that’s making all of this possible is the use of web conferencing software that enables UP faculty to offer tutoring and support to Engineering majors half a world away.
Niki Schulz, an Instructor with the Shiley School of Engineering, spoke with us about her experiences using state-of-the-art web conferencing software to provide 2 hours of F2F tutoring per week including quizzes and activities from her class here on campus. Because the students’ schedule in the Austrian classes is so rigorous (they’re taking a full semester course in a condensed 6 week version that meets once a week for a 5 hour session!), the extra support and interaction is especially helpful.
I meet with the students twice a week online and we video conference…it’s great. I can’t even tell that there’s a time lag over the ocean when we’re talking, I’m really surprised by that.
A complete transcript of our conversation in PDF format