Case Study: Northwestern University Grows Online Learning with PGi

Northwestern University (NU), headquartered in Evanston, Ill., comprises a student body of 21,000. To support their online learning programs, the university has leveraged a combination of independent learning and interactive audio and web conferencing. However, by offering a VoIP only option, the school’s web conferencing solution left virtual classroom sessions without a critical component: reliable audio.

Students and faculty were frequently experiencing dropped connections on the VoIP-only solution. This was contributing to wasted class time, lost momentum and reduced opportunities to connect. NU needed an integrated audio solution to support synchronous online learning, better manage disruptions and increase ROI.

After conducting a successful pilot program within the central IT department, NU partnered with PGi to implement GlobalMeet® Audio integration with their existing web conferencing platform. While VoIP requires students to have a microphone to connect, speak and participate, PGi audio integration allows participants to connect from any phone or mobile device for greater accessibility. NU students always have access to online courses because PGi offers expansive global coverage and mobility, even for students traveling and attending classed abroad.

“The PGi integrated audio solution is pretty flawless. Students just type in their phone number, it pops up and there’s not a lot for them to do. If someone can’t get the code right, dialing out is really quick.”

—Alyssa Dyar

Integrating GlobalMeet® Audio as a part of thier long-term online learning strategy has allowed Northwestern University to realize a multitude of benefits:

More Value from Existing Investments: Improving conversations without switching solutions, NU realized more value from their web conferencing technology with minimal additional investments of budget and resources.

Increased Versatility for Wider Uses: With better technology and reliable audio conferencing,

NU found additional uses for their investments: expanding online orientation and information sessions with prospective students and connecting with remote and traveling faculty.

Better Adoption, Better Acceleration: GlobalMeet Audio takes little time for setup and maintenance, which drives better adoption among faculty. Integrating PGi audio into a web conference is a simple process, and PGi offers 24/7 support and online consumer communities.

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