Real-time Interactive Classroom offers convenience and flexibility

Penn State’s new Real-time Interactive Classroom (RIC) offers adult learners an opportunity to take courses using video conferencing from home, the office, at the beach or anywhere they can get connected. Students can earn college credit without the commute. Penn State York is offering courses in the Business Essentials for Professional Certificate beginning this fall using this new technology. The courses offered via the RIC can be used to earn a degree, earn a certificate or simply for personal enrichment.

“The Real-time Interactive Classroom technology represents another aspect of the truly global learning experience enjoyed by Penn State students,” said Robert Farrell, interim director of academic affairs at Penn State York. 

“This technology is ideal for the working professional ‘on-the-go,' allowing that person to complete course work no matter where their job may take them,” he said. “In many ways, the real-time interactive classroom solves the logistical issues of juggling work, family and education.”

Courses using the RIC are offered in an accelerated seven-week course format and students meet online with their instructor and their classmates for two hours per week, with additional course work and homework assignments completed online throughout the week using Penn State’s course management system.  

The RIC provides a learning environment with high-definition video and integrated audio. As many as six live simultaneous video feeds in a main session create a true online classroom experience. The video experience includes active speaker, which switches the video automatically to focus on the current speaker. Students can engage in a high level of participation with polling, threaded questions and answers, and real-time group or private chats. 

An online information session about the RIC is scheduled for 7:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25; the registration deadline is July 24. To register for an information session and learn more about the RIC, visit or call Penn State York Continuing Education at 717-771-4067 or email

The Business Essentials for Professionals credit certificate, being offered through the RIC, is designed specifically for adult learners who need an accelerated and convenient way to earn a credit certificate that provides knowledge and skills in the management of information systems, effective communication, selling techniques and management principles. 

The 12-credit certificate can be earned in less than one year and is a way for students to build their resume and advance their career. Courses in the certificate also apply toward degree programs.

Introduction to business information systems (MIS 204) begins Aug. 29 and meets on Thursdays through Oct. 10; introduction to business (BA 100) begins Oct. 24 and meets on Thursdays through Dec. 12; effective speech (CAS 100A) and introduction to selling techniques (MKTG 220) will be offered for spring.

For more information about the Business Essentials for Professional Certificate, visit, call Penn State York Continuing Education at 717-771-4067 or email

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Last Updated July 17, 2013