Last updated: 17.01.11

Online degrees 'create hundreds of extra seats'

An online higher education company has teamed up with institutions to create more spaces in classes.

Using real time technology, 2tor's programs imitate real life classrooms as closely as possible, allowing students who weren't initially accepted to learn from a distance, the Washington Post observed.

Julie DeLoia, interim dean of the most recent partner, Georgetown University, said five years ago it "would never have done this".

"In the last few years the technology is such that we can have dynamic engagement," she added.

Each class is taken by a member of faculty at a set time using video technology, while students take part from home using on-screen chalk boards and can even raise their hand electronically.

The course on offer at Georgetown is a master's program in the field of family nursing, but more are planned to follow.

Other bodies the firm runs courses with include the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina and the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.