Dr Xinyi Tan, Assistant Professor of Chinese and French, and author of a chapter in the 2021 book, Designing Courses with Digital Technologies, is a great advocate of using technology to support student success. Using the Echo360 video learning platform, Dr Tan has created a flipped learning environment that helps her ensure students grasp the complexities of Mandarin and progress towards fluency.

To support her initial interest she quotes Wang and Qi (2018), “Research has shown that the interactive and communicative nature of language learning is well suited to the flipped learning environment, where the time students spend practicing inside and outside of class is key to proficiency”.

Watch the video to hear Dr Tan talk about her experience with video tutorials and Echo360:

Preparing Students for Success  

For native English speakers, Mandarin is often regarded as a language that requires a great deal of effort to master. With spoken and written elements independent of each other, students need to develop an understanding of both the phonetic transcription and the written character for every new word.

One of the key tasks Dr Tan encourages her students to focus on when learning a new language is to practice using new words and phrases. To support this, students are provided video tutorials recorded in Echo360, which they access prior to attending class. Dr Tan explains how important this is to maximising learning opportunities.

“Providing video content in advance frees up precious class time students can then dedicate to speaking, and putting what they have learned into practice.”

Dr Tan creates her own video tutorials using Echo360 which help to ensure students have consistency. As she explains, “language learning can be challenging and stressful at times for some students. When they can hear the language presented in the same way by the same person, they have a much greater chance of success, so video recordings by me are an essential part of the flipped classroom model.”

The video tutorials are viewed alongside a textbook and a character workbook, and to further support students’ learning Dr Tan creates preview exercises about the tutorials.

Positive Student Experience

Students have reported that one of their favourite activities are the image quizzes Dr Tan provides. These quizzes help them understand and retain the different characters they are learning in an engaging way. Created in Echo360, these can be used alone or embedded in video tutorials, helping to build a bank of interactive media to support students’ studies.

The combination of qualitative feedback from student surveys and viewing analytics available in Echo360 show that the tutorial videos have become the primary resource for students when previewing lessons. “The video offers students more flexibility and better interactivity,” says Dr Tan. “They have really appreciated the dynamic presence of the instructor in the videos and the result is better learning outcomes.”

Greater Insight

Being able to access real-time behavioural data from Echo360 allows Dr Tan to examine whether students have – or have not – engaged with the video and other asynchronous content. This information helps her design face-to-face activities that add value to learning and can provide important early indicators that a student might require some extra support.

In addition, viewing patterns can be analysed over the semester, enabling Dr Tan to intervene where necessary. “The data can be shared with the students who need it, showing them that not completing the asynchronous class work can reduce their chances of succeeding,” she says.

Echo360 is Dr Tan’s choice of video platform for its intuitive design and seamless links to the university’s Learning Management System (LMS), which mean students can access all of the functionality they require by clicking on links in their weekly modules.

This has been essential at times when students are required to shelter in place due to Covid-19. Dr Tan uses Zoom as a web conferencing tool and Echo360 recordings can be shared via the LMS in a few simple clicks. Students can then quickly access recordings of in-person classes they have missed or sessions they might want to review.

As Dr Tan concludes, “Blended learning is not about the percentage of time students spend learning in person versus studying asynchronously. They may have only 30% asynchronous content in a course, and that 30% is critical to success.”

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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