PSU’s Hybrid Program Originated Before the Pandemic
Attend Anywhere got an indirect start at PSU’s School of Business several years before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Realizing there was interest in hybrid learning among its students, the business school equipped a classroom with a television and microphones for remote participation.
“They were the progenitors of this form of hybrid teaching,” says Jerrod Thomas, PSU’s senior director of academic technology services.
In the summer of 2020, when PSU leaders were unsure if in-person classes would return that fall, they remembered the successful precedent the business school had set. The university knew its students would benefit overall from flexible, remote options, as many of them work and 25 percent have children.
PSU moved forward with starting to make its 142 general classrooms capable of streaming and recording.
However, the university faced some budget limitations. “We don’t have a giant endowment,” says Thomas.
In the end, the school spent roughly $3,000 per room to prioritize remote lecturing capabilities. The tech setups weren’t advanced, but they did enable a synchronous remote attendance opportunity. “It gave us that minimum viable product at scale,” says Thomas.