Authors: J. Mark Pullen, Nicholas K. Clark
Abstract: The authors have supported synchronous online distance education (DE) delivery of the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) degree at George Mason University for the past decade with open source software. The Moodle Integrated Synchronous Teaching/Conferencing (MIST/C) is focused on simultaneous online and classroom delivery, using a hybrid approach combining synchronous classroom capture with the popular Moodle learning management system. We have been rewarded with student and faculty enthusiasm and growth of the program. During the period of MIST/C use, it has been continually refined and enhanced, resulting in better course delivery at lower cost. Recent changes in our teaching environment have accelerated this process. Where previously we had student assistants available to set up and assist with teaching software, this process had to be automated due to reduced staffing. This paper reviews the history and capabilities of MIST/C and describes its ability to reduce support costs by simplifying teaching of both online and classroom students at the same time.
Keywords: Distance education; synchronous delivery; simultaneous classroom-online delivery