This is the eighth blog in our how-to series for educators and example 7 out of 21 ways to teach with Echo360. Read the introduction to this series here.

Why should I deliver live interactive teaching to off-campus learners?

Providing active learning opportunities in the classroom has been shown to improve student engagement, retention and learning outcomes (Freeman, et al, 2014), but what about those students who are studying away, are on a placement, or who are unable to travel to class? Having a capture of the class or your friend’s notes may be satisfactory, but wouldn’t it be better that they could participate in the same manner as in-class learners? With Echo360, you can use the engagement tools during class, capture your teaching, and also broadcast a feed of your audio and video to any students who are away from class; these students will be able to participate in all activities in real-time, use the discussion tools and generally have a learning experience comparable to those sitting in class with you.

How can I do that?

In earlier posts, we have discussed how to broadcast your teaching and use the engagement tools. When delivering live interactive classes, we are simply bringing together each of these approaches. Both the off-site and on-site students would access the interactive class in exactly the same way, though the off-site students would open the streamed video content in order to watch your screen and listen to your voice or watch a video of the class.

  1. Live classes cannot be initiated directly from Classroom Capture, so either include a Live Broadcast when scheduling your session or;
  2. Alternatively, if enabled, click the ‘Start Capture’ button on the Echo360 toolbar and complete the details of your capture, remembering to tick the ‘Live Broadcast’ checkbox;
  3. Just add your presentation to the Class that is created and click on the  icon to edit the presentation and add activities;
  4. Remember to instruct your students to open the Class when you begin the session…and don’t forget to do the same!

Anything else I should be aware of?

Students viewing the live stream should be aware of the best practice guidance that we have published in our Resource Centre to ensure their viewing experience is at an optimum level when using personal devices – see Viewing Live Classes – best practices.

Off-site students may communicate directly with yourself and their peers through the discussion board, but cannot speak to others. The audio/video stream is one-directional from the classroom.

Does it work?

Teaching Statistics to over 2000 students might seem like a daunting proposition, but Dr Jackie Miller (University of Michigan) has introduced a hybrid active learning and live streaming course (based on the HyFlex+ instructional model). This provides all students with a choice of how to participate by offering in-class or remote learning modes; critically, they are able to maintain an equivalency of learning experience for all learners through using the engagement tools. Similarly, the George Mason University School of Law requires their law programmes to be flexible and interactive to support large populations of international and continuing education students. To achieve this, all classes are recorded or live streamed, and engagement tools are used for student to interact, whether they are in the classroom or online.

This approach is likely to become increasingly common in further and higher education as student study patterns change. A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics in the US revealed that out of 8.1 million students enrolled in higher education, more than 40% were 25+ years old, leading EducationDive to comment that “with more non-traditional students coming to two- and four-year schools, colleges will need to use mobile technology to keep them engaged and learning…Colleges will need to recreate the campus experience through apps and other technology that allows the non-traditional student to feel a part of the university community”.

Where can I find more information?

If you have found this blog helpful, but missed the previous posts in the series, here they are:

Learn more about Echo360.

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