Logos photo by Rick Eichenlaub
Margaret Hutchens-Rodriquez examines the four sections of the AIDS Name Quilt that was on display in the North Iowa Community Auditorium lobby and Art Gallery on Monday, December 2. The display was part of the World AIDS Day events held on campus. Each section of the quilt is comprised of eight six by three feet panels that resemble the size of a coffin. They are dedicated to the memory of the individuals who died of AIDS. Artwork in the Art Gallery was draped in black cloth to signify " a day without art" in rememberance of the loss of many artists to AIDS-related diseases. In addition to the quilt display, there were a number of scheduled speakers including former Playboy Playmate Rebekka Armstrong who spoke about her experience with AIDS and HIV in the Muse-Norris Conference Center on campus on Monday evening (see story on page one). Other speakers included Joe Wilson of Arnolds Park, local Mason City attorney Tim Lapointe, Earl Alexander of Dubuque and Haley Nolan, a Community Outreach specialist with the North Iowa AIDS Project of Mason City.
On-line classes pass ICN
NIACC participates as a member of the Iowa Communications Network, also know as the ICN. The network reaches students who are unable to take traditional classes on campus.
The ICN set up consists of a two-way visual in which all of the students can see a teacher instructing at a remote site, and two-way audio in which the students and teachers can interact through microphones and speakers.
However, in the age of speed and convenience, enrollment in online classes has exceeded the number of students who use the ICN as a way of learning.
According to a Des Moines Register article, during the 2001-2002 school year, enrollment in courses through the ICN on the three state universities dropped 5.4 percent.
At Iowa State University and University of Iowa, the reduction of enrollment was attributed to budget cuts. Elsewhere, the ease of online courses factored into declining ICN numbers.
On the NIACC campus, while web classes have become popular and utilized, the number of students who use the ICN has remained relatively stable over the last three years.
According to Bruce McKee, Instructional Technology coordinator, this fall, 237 students enrolled in an ICN class.
In the fall of 2000 and 2001, the numbers were 148 and 266 respectively. "Enrollment in online classes this year was about 500, and that number has more than doubled each year," McKee said.
The advantage of an online course is that the student can work at his or her leisure. That is not the case with an ICN class because there is a designated time and place to meet and be educated.
"ICN classes are scheduled like traditional courses in the sense that they have a calendar to follow and have start and stop times," McKee said.
Sources from the Register donŐt believe online classes will replace the ICN. In the age of technology information, education is available in different ways.
Whether online or ICN classes, "Distance learning is important," McKee said. "It gives us a better opportunity to serve the community."
To exist both need to be utilized.
"Both ICN and online classes offer students the opportunities to take courses in an unconventional way. We should take advantage of those opportunities," McKee said.
Students can find out more information about ICN and online classes on the NIACC web-site in Educational Programs, or contact Marty Lundberg, the evening dean on campus.
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