In-Person, Online, or Hybrid: Small Universities Tap Into the Power of Video Learning to Deliver Instruction in Multiple Ways
Campus-Wide Deployment of Echo360 Helps Brewton-Parker College Support Student Athletes and Older Learners While Improving the Residential Learning Experience
Over the course of just a few weeks during the fall of 2020, Brewton-Parker College completed a campus-wide installation of the Echo360 video platform. In addition to conducting face-to-face classes on campus, now the college can deliver hybrid and asynchronous online learning with Echo360. In the spring of 2022, the college plans to offer synchronous online learning by using Echo360 to live stream classes to students who are not able to be physically present in class.
Echo360 lecture recordings help the college better support students who participate in intercollegiate athletic programs. These students no longer have to make up classes or rely on notes from other students. They are now able to view lecture recordings remotely on their laptop, tablet, or mobile device when traveling to events.
Echo360 also helps Brewton-Parker’s non-traditional student population achieve their educational goals. Many of these students are older adults who reside off-campus, are employed full-time, or have care-giving responsibilities. With the launch of live streaming, they will have the option to attend and participate in classes in-person or remotely.
Brewton-Parker’s investment in Echo360 gives the college greater institutional resilience and helps address the growing desire of students to have greater flexibility in how they attend classes. While face-to-face teaching will always remain at the heart of the student experience, on-demand access to lecture recordings helps Brewton-Parker better serve its existing students and enhances their residential learning experience.
Easy Implementation and Scalability Makes Echo360 the Right Choice for Campus-Wide Video
According to Michael Steinmetz, Ph.D., director of information technology and an associate professor of Christian studies, the decision to use video in the classroom was driven by the pandemic. The college realized that campus life would not fully return to normal for the fall 2020 term. Academic leadership wanted to move beyond video conferencing and deliver a more engaging and interactive teaching and learning experience to students who may be required to attend classes remotely.
“About three weeks prior to the start of the fall 2020 semester, our president asked me if we could do lecture capture in the classroom,” says Steinmetz. “I told him that I knew just the people and immediately contacted Echo360.”
Steinmetz says that Echo360 is easy to scale, which made deploying a campus-wide video solution in just a few weeks possible.
“One of the most powerful features of Echo360 is how easily it scales. You can start with just a few classrooms and once you get into the deployment, the admin tools make it so that it is not that difficult to go from five classrooms to a hundred or more.”
Echo360 is now installed in 29 classrooms on campus at Brewton-Parker. To capture classroom audio and video, Steinmetz along with a staff of two people installed microphones and cameras in each room. Echo360 software was installed on the existing classroom computer.
“Even though it is available, I did not have to buy Echo360 hardware,” says Steinmetz. “Echo360 software can run on a MAC or PC, and that makes the solution very scalable, allows us to be flexible, and it is cost effective. All we had to do was install a microphone and camera and connect those devices to the computer. After that, it was very easy to plug that information into the Echo360 admin console and we were up and running very quickly,” he adds.
Powerful Admin Tools and Integration with Learning Management Systems Makes Video Easy-to-Use
To make it easy for instructors, Steinmetz and his team automatically schedule Echo360 to record. Instructors simply have to enter the classroom and begin teaching.
“This was another reason why we selected Echo360,” says Steinmetz. “We wanted to make it really easy for our faculty members. All classes are scheduled to record, and instructors do not have to remember to turn anything on or off. They can focus on their teaching. The admin tool also makes it easy to schedule around holidays and not record when classes are not in session.”
Echo360’s tight integration with leading learning management systems make it easy for students to access recordings and other course content. At Brewton-Parker, videos are automatically made available to students. Using a single login, students can easily access their lectures in the college learning management system, Brightspace.
“The Echo360 recordings are very helpful when students review for exams. Students can re-watch lectures and if they have questions, they can flag those sections of the recording or send their instructor an email asking for clarification.”
Video Provides New Ways to Teach Students and Support a Local Community of Learners
Echo360 lecture recordings have made it easier for students who participate in intercollegiate athletic programs to keep up with their studies while traveling to events. With Echo360, student-athletes no longer have to make up classes or rely on notes taken by a friend.
“When I first introduced Echo360 to faculty, they were very excited because of the athletes,” says Steinmetz. “Our athletes regularly travel by bus to events and these trips can last for several hours. Now they can watch lecture recordings and access their course content while they are on the road.”
Steinmetz says that coaches and staff want their athletes to maintain their academic standing. They are aware of the technology and encourage students to use Echo360 instead of spending time on social media or playing video games.
“The coaches are really on the side of the academics,” says Steinmetz. “When they are together on the travel bus, they’ll ask their athletes, ‘Have you watched your videos? You can be doing some work now instead of looking at Facebook.’”
But Brewton-Parker student athletes are not the only students who will benefit from the technology. The college’s location in a rural section of southern Georgia can make it difficult for some students to regularly attend classes on campus. These students are often older learners who work or have other demands on their time but still want to reap the benefits of obtaining an education. By deploying Echo360, the college now has a new way to reach these students and support the surrounding community.
“Echo360 helps us deliver classes in multiple ways and reach students who cannot be physically present. With Echo360, we can reach that subset of students who want to get an education but who cannot uproot themselves. They may have to work or have other responsibilities. We can now reach them by live streaming classes or through recorded lectures. Potentially, it can even help us offer new business models and create new ways to reach and teach even more students.”
Designed for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
With such a rapid implementation, Steinmetz says the emphasis has been on recording lectures and capturing course content. He says the college is just beginning to tap into the full set of Echo360 features. This includes live streaming classroom lectures and adopting student engagement and response activities into course design.
“Because of the speed at which we implemented Echo360, we haven’t had the time to fully use all of its capabilities. The main thing has been to make sure that students who cannot physically come to class have access to recorded content for review. In the future, success will mean adopting more live streaming so students who cannot be physically present can still attend class live. We also plan to use more of the student engagement features such as polling and quizzes.”
Finally, Steinmetz says Echo360’s singular mission to support higher education was a major reason Brewton-Parker selected the platform for video-based learning.
“We evaluated a number of other products on the market. Unlike Echo360, those other products were not built around the teaching and learning experience in a classroom. I also know that Echo360 will listen to us, even as a small college, when it comes to prioritizing new features that are needed. Higher education is what they do and that was a key factor in why we selected Echo360.”
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.