The College of Business and Idaho Central Credit Union officially opened a new long-distance learning center in the Business Administration Building on Monday, April 17.
Named after the corporation that provided the largest donation, the Idaho Central Credit Union Learning Center is made up of two rooms, one designated as a lecturing room and the other a student lab.
The student lab portion has a total of 36 stations across six tables that are equipped with monitors, keyboards, mice and network access so that business students can easily come and work in groups.
According to Tom Ottaway, Dean of the College of Business, the new center was made to expand the capabilities of the college’s growing programs and classes, to better serve students who are not on the Pocatello campus.
“As we increase our offerings it becomes more and more difficult to send faculty back and forth constantly to Idaho Falls,” Ottaway said. “This scheduled classroom will allow us to offer classes here and in remote sites simultaneously.”
The current plan is to have faculty members present the majority of lectures at the Pocatello campus while streaming the classes to all other locations concurrently. Every couple of weeks, the faculty member will travel to one of the satellite campuses and present lecture there, while broadcasting it back to Pocatello and the other campuses, which will allow the faculty to meet and get to know all of their students in those classes.
The ICCU Learning Center has the ability to broadcast to three separate locations, stream to Youtube or similar viewing platforms and record all at the same time.
Kent Oram, CEO of ICCU was present at the opening.
“When you look on this floor you see some nice names, Cooper Norman and the Simplot Center and those kinds of things,” said Oram. “I thought, ‘Hey, if we had a room up on the fifth floor students are going to notice, how could they help but notice,’ that’s really good for us.”
Oram described how when he was a student at ISU, he noticed when businesses stepped up to the plate.
“ICCU has been a great friend of the university for years and years,” Ottaway said. They have support athletics and other ISU programs.
Oram added that by providing new equipment and resources to students, it can really improve the learning environment of the old building.
“This is a way to revitalize the building, it’s unlikely we’re going to be able to raise the funds to replace it, but this is a great way to revitalize the facility and make it more attractive to students in the future to come here,” Oram said.