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Effective Online and Hybrid Instruction in the Age of COVID-19

Effective Online and Hybrid Instruction in the Age of COVID-19

According to a database compiled by the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, over 1000 institutions in the U.S. plan to offer hybrid or fully online programs for the upcoming fall term. Success will depend upon each institution’s ability to transition from the emergency remote teaching of the Spring to delivering a hybrid or online learning experience that students will value.

In a recent webinar, The Choice of Teaching Modality after COVID-19, University of Kentucky (UK) senior marketing lecturer, Holly Hapke shared the details of how she uses Echo360 to deliver engaging hybrid and online learning. Her insights provide a roadmap for other institutions to follow.

Hapke described how she used Echo360 to manage the sudden transition to online learning when her campus was forced to close in March 2020. She presented a data analysis showing that her students receive higher marks when they actively participate in the polls, questions, and other activities she embeds into each class. Finally, she shared how she intends to use Echo360 for both synchronous and asynchronous online learning for the upcoming term.

Here are just a few of the highlights from Hapke’s webinar presentation.

Live-Streaming Lectures to Reduce Classroom Overcrowding

Hapke first began teaching with Echo360 in 2014 to address issues of classroom overcrowding. To solve this problem, she developed a blended, or hybrid Principles of Marketing course. Students who enrolled in the course were required to be on campus one day a week. They were given the option to attend class in-person on either Tuesday or Thursday and then attend remotely by viewing a synchronous, live-stream presentation on the second day of the week. As a result, she has been able to teach to more than 800 students even though the lecture hall in which she lectures seats only 500.

Survey question results from Holly Hapke’s class.

“Echo360 gives students flexibility to reduce the amount of time they are required to physically be in the classroom while providing content in a variety of formats, including video, audio, and text that help meet the needs of a diverse set of learners,” says Hapke.

Engagement Activities Give Students Opportunities to “Share Their Voice”

To enhance the learning experience and boost student participation, Hapke uses Echo360’s student engagement tools in each class. These tools allow her to embed student polling questions or other activities throughout her lecture. The embedded questions help her break up her lecture and give students a chance to pause and reflect on the material presented. Depending on how students respond, it gives Hapke the opportunity to clear up points of student misunderstanding.

“When students answer the polling question, I can immediately see their answers,” says Hapke. “Echo360 also lets students to flag areas of confusion. So, even if they do not have a specific question, I can see if I need to clarify or reteach portions of my lecture to clear up any misunderstanding.”

Hapke also says that Echo360’s engagement tools give students an opportunity to “share their voice” that would be difficult to do in a lecture hall filled with hundreds of students.

“In a large auditorium, students might not be inclined to raise their hand. Students may be reluctant to voice their opinion or ask a question about the material I am presenting. The tools Echo360 provides gives students that opportunity to share their voice and participate, and that is important for their learning,” says Hapke.

Freedom to Interact with Course Material On-Demand Enhances Student Success

In addition to polling questions, Hapke uses Echo360’s Q&A feature to encourage peer-to-peer learning and discussion. The Q&A feature links questions students post directly to the relevant instructional content. Instructors and students can ask questions or provide answers and participate in on-going discussions. When students review material for exams, they can go directly from the posted questions to the presentation, highlighting a specific teaching point captured on video.

“The Q&A feature promote student-teacher interaction and peer-to-peer learning,” says Hapke. “This is a feature in Echo360 that can be used no matter how the class is delivered—online, face-to-face, or hybrid. Since questions and discussions are tied to the content I am presenting, it helps to promote deeper thinking and it is another way to connect and engage students beyond the polling questions I ask in class. It is a ‘backchannel’ that lets students have in-depth conversations and discuss the course material among themselves,” she adds.

Hapke shared data that associated student grades with the learning modality her students chose (face-to-face, hybrid, or online). According to the data she presented, students who engaged in synchronous learning and participated in all of the activities earned higher grades.

“Giving the students the opportunity to interact with the material in their own space on their own time led to greater engagement and enhanced their opportunity for success,” says Hapke.

Making a Seamless Pivot to Online Learning

When the UK campus closed in mid-March 2020, Hapke’s students were able to continue their studies online. Hapke repurposed video recordings from the previous year and made those recordings available to her students. Each lecture was accompanied with detailed notes, fill-in-the-blank exercises, and sample exam questions. Echo360 polling questions were also included to deliver a quiz or concept check.

“When we were forced to transition to online learning only, they continued to participate, watch the recorded videos, answer questions, and engage with their course content,” she says.

Transitioning to Effective Hybrid and Online Learning for the Fall Term

In an era where social distancing is a necessity, it is difficult if not impossible to teach a class with 400-500 students in a lecture hall. So, for the upcoming term, Hapke will use Echo360 to live-stream her Principles of Marketing class. Students will be offered the opportunity to view the live, synchronous sessions online, view a recorded video of the class, or a combination of both. Students will be able to “attend” class from their dorm rooms or off-campus housing. She will continue to embed questions and polls to encourage student participation.

“The bottom line is that students benefit from a more active learning environment. Echo360 makes it easier for them to improve their skills at self-directed learning, they have greater autonomy over the time and place of their learning, and I still have the opportunity to answer questions, address concerns, and make sure that students are able to voice their opinions and express their viewpoints.”


Listen to the complete webinar presentation,
The Choice of Teaching Modality After COVID-19.

Learn more: From campus video management, lecture capture, online and hybrid learning and more, contact us to discover how Echo360 can help transform the teaching and learning experience at your institution.

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