4-VA course sharing increases student access to remote expertise

Through this initiative, 4-VA leverages the strengths of each partner university by sharing courses to boost efficiency and expand student access. When the demand for a course falls below the minimum enrollment at any one university, 4-VA course sharing can extend the course offering to students at other 4-VA universities. Using remote access technologies, shared courses allow faculty to teach these courses to students in several different locations at once. By maximizing shared resources, course sharing provides students with greater access to the courses they need without spending extra time or money.

800+

Students Impacted

  • Leveraging resources

    In 2012, JMU found itself without a Korean language instructor. GMU filled the gap and allowed 20 JMU students to enroll in their Korean course while JMU searched for a new instructor.

  • Increasing student impact

    In the past, VT lost prospective students who wanted to pursue STEM degrees with a minor in Chinese—an option VT was unable to offer at the time. 4-VA’s course sharing helped resolve this recruiting challenge by making more classes accessible to VT students. Highly specialized and innovative courses are piloted, designed to incorporate telepresence, and then shared with 4-VA partner universities.

  • Access to emerging technologies

    In the spring of 2015, professors from seven different departments at JMU piloted an advanced robotics course with industry experts who taught the students remotely via Beam® robots. The following year the course was shared with GMU and ODU students, who devised solutions to humanitarian problems using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

  • Telepresence experience

    In the summer of 2015, GMU created a graduate course in digital history. The course was shared with VT that year and ODU the following year. Each student created an online module with digital artifacts designed to lead targeted audiences through a history lesson.

Sarah Biron

Dr. Kaussler’s class was unlike any learning experience I’ve previously had at college. The simulation component facilitated by the 4-VA network enabled me to take the concepts discussed in lecture and apply them in a “real life” context, strengthening my understanding of the material and topics in a collaborative learning environment. It was one of the most interesting classes I’ve taken part of here at JMU, and really contributed to my knowledge of international affairs.

Sarah BironUndergraduate Student, International Relations and Affairs, JMU

Previous shared courses

  • History
  • Political Science
  • Robotics
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Hebrew
  • Chinese
  • Population Ecology
  • Environmental Science and Policy

Benefits to the Commonwealth

Leverages resources

Maximizes efficiency

Leverages university strengths and faculty expertise

Faculty Benefits

Increases student impact

Eliminates geographical barriers

Student Benefits

Exposure to unique perspectives

Access to emerging technologies

Telepresence experience

Apply for a 4-VA grant