TCOM Distance Education Courses to Start in the Spring 2010 Semester

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The MS in Telecommunications program at George Mason University will begin offering courses via the Internet in the Spring 2010 semester. Initially, two of the core courses (TCOM 500 and the course pair TCOM 501/502) will be offered. In subsequent semesters, the on-line course offerings will be increased continuously so that students can earn the MS in Telecommunications entirely on-line. We are planning to add at least two courses each semester to the on-line repertoire until the entire TCOM curriculum is available in distance education format.
The university has selected Elluminate, a distance learning software package, for on-line education. Your instructor may use this for internet class sessions, office hours, collaborative work groups, and/or other functions. This package will allow you to view slides and other course material, listen to the lecture, ask questions, and interact in other ways with your instructor and classmates. You will also be able to view class session recordings later if you miss a class or want to verify your notes.
You will need an internet connection, ideally broadband although dialā€up should work satisfactorily, and a personal computer running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux using current browser versions. Although you can use your computer speakers and a handheld microphone, your experience (and that of your professor and classmates) will be better if you use a headset with a boom microphone. These are available for under $10 through various retail sources. You can also use a chat function to communicate with the class and instructor. Your instructor may request that you use the chat function instead of the microphone.
You will connect to the class through the class listing on Blackboard (http://courses.gmu.edu – use your gmu.edu email ID and password to connect). Use the Elluminate link on your course page and click on the desired session. Your instructor will tell you which session to use.