Even with Students Back on Campus, Echo360 Gives Faculty and Students Options to Teach and Learn Remotely through Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Classes

Students at Faulkner University returned to campus in the fall of 2020 for in-person instruction. But because of the persistence of the pandemic, university leaders knew they still may need a way for students to learn from a distance. To enhance their capability to deliver remote learning, university leadership selected Echo360 and installed the video learning platform in every classroom on all four university campuses.

With Echo360, students who are quarantined, have to miss classes due to illness or for other reasons now have a way to attend virtually. Students can participate online, either by synchronously viewing classes that are live-streamed or by watching recorded sessions asynchronously.

“When the COVID pandemic hit, the university didn’t have a way to help quarantined students keep up with their course work,” says Tiffany Cantrell, director of Faulkner Online. “Echo360 gives students the ability to attend class remotely, so they don’t fall behind and potentially have to withdraw from their classes.”

Classroom Instruction is the Norm but Easy Access to Remote Learning Enhances Student Learning Experience

According to Cantrell, Echo360 gives the university the ability to maintain continuity of teaching and learning if students are unable to physically attend class. She says campus life is a key component of the student experience and traditional classroom instruction is the norm. But, if a student is ill, quarantined, or has other legitimate reasons to be absent, they can get permission from their instructor to attend classes virtually.

All lectures and classes are automatically live streamed and recorded. After class, students access and view Echo360 videos and other course content through Faulkner’s learning management system, Canvas. They can watch recorded lectures and review content as often as they need.

“Echo360 enhances the campus learning experience for our students,” says Cantrell. “It is another way for us to support our students. They now have the ability to watch lectures online if they cannot attend class in-person. This helps them stay out of the cycle of falling behind and having to catch up on work they miss.”

Travel and Time Away from Campus Are No Longer Barriers to Learning for Student-Athletes

Student-athletes are also among the beneficiaries of Echo360. Cantrell says more than half of Faulkner’s students participate in intercollegiate athletic programs. But she also says that while participating in sports is one of the reasons why these students choose to attend Faulkner, their main objective is to complete their education.

“From the time they are recruited, parents and students alike know sports are just part of their experience here,” she says. “They know the reason for coming to Faulkner is to receive a degree and to become a highly functioning member of society. Echo360 helps them achieve this goal.”

She says with Echo360, student-athletes will no longer have to make up classes or collect lecture notes from a friend. Even when they are traveling to athletic events, athletes can now attend class or watch lecture recordings on the team bus or from their temporary lodging. She adds that studying and academics are equal parts of the athletic culture at Faulkner.

“There is a lot of excitement during the first 10-15 minutes of any road trip and the athletes are naturally pumped up,” says Cantrell. “But then they settle down, the headphones come on, and students get out their laptops and get to work. All of our buses have Wi-Fi, and it is just part of the culture that whenever they’re travelling, they are expected to work and study and if there is any possibility for them to watch a lecture live with Echo360, then they are expected to do that.”

Working as a Team to Meet Challenging Implementation Schedule and Deadlines

Faulkner needed to install Echo360 in 97 classrooms on their campuses in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery. The schedule was tight.

To ensure that project schedule and deadlines were met, Echo360’s customer success team worked closely with the university’s IT staff. Echo360 even helped the university interview and select the audio-visual systems integration firm that would install new camera equipment into each classroom.

This process helped to ensure that the university could deploy the latest video technology, that it would be cost-effective, and would work seamlessly with Echo360. One example is the use of IP-cameras now installed in each classroom. IP-cameras give Faulkner several important benefits.

  • IP-cameras work wirelessly and do not require time-consuming and expensive HDMI cable installations, and
  • IP-cameras can be remotely configured and centrally administered through the Echo360 admin console from the university’s main campus. This is especially helpful because Faulkner’s campuses are located in four different cities across Alabama.

“During the implementation phase, I was constantly communicating with Echo360,” says Cantrell. “Echo360 felt like an extension of our team. Everyone was on board, and we all worked together to successfully complete the project on time.”

Video Helps Students Understand Their Own Learning

Cantrell says there has been an increase in video captures and the number of people using Echo360 each semester since the fall of 2020. She says Echo360 has made the learning experience better for all students.

“It is easy to get behind Echo360 because I see the difference it makes for our students,” says Cantrell. “It gives our students consistency in their learning. Echo360 videos are automatically made available to them, and they can easily watch their lectures and review course content. They can see the places where they may not understand the material. It gives them an understanding of their own learning and makes their life easier.”

Learn more on how to inspire learner engagement with Echo360 by contacting us today.