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Liberty and iTunes U give students course access on the go

June 8, 2012 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Staying on the cutting edge of education, Liberty University’s Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) is in the process of creating Liberty University Online courses for iTunes U, with 92 currently available and about 60 more slated to appear by Aug. 1.

“Liberty University is delivering academic excellence with biblical integration from some of the best professors in the discipline to multiple audiences,” said Dr. David Brown, associate director of CAFE. “This is just another form of getting the message of Christ and His creation to the world by every possible means.”

With iTunes U, students can access course content for Liberty Online’s over 100 degree programs free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. A new iTunes app, announced in January, allows students to watch or listen to lectures, read books, view presentations and view a list of assignments and check them off as they are completed.

Through Liberty’s iTunes U courses, prospective students and parents have the opportunity to view a course’s layout and workload ahead of time, or listen to lectures, plan ahead for a class or simply see what makes Liberty different from other institutions.

For example, people can compare world literature classes at Liberty and Yale University, Brown said, finding that “Liberty integrates biblical teaching in its course.”

Brown said iTunes U allows any student who is already enrolled to take their course content on the go.

A student is able to use his or her iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) device and tap a link via their Blackboard course that would subscribe them to the iTunes U course. From there they could download videos or audio files to their portable device and listen at any time.

“The military student that may have limited access to a computer can download his or her lectures and can listen from any place in the world at any time,” Brown said.

Liberty aimed to have 90 courses uploaded by June 5, a goal that was met, keeping them on par to provide 150 by August.

Brown said each of Liberty’s current iTunes U courses average about 1,300 hits and 400 downloads a week.

Liberty has offered videos and podcasts through iTunes U since 2006.