2019 Echo360 European Community Conference

Hosted by the University of Edinburgh

June 4-5, 2019

-13Days -23Hours -58Minutes -27Seconds

What to expect

The Echo360 team is excited to welcome you to the 2019 European Community Conference at The University of Edinburgh. Get a front row seat to hear from fellow academic and technology leaders, about best practices, innovations in the classroom and new ways to use video, active learning and student learning data to drive change. Get a sneak peek into the Echo360 roadmap, network with your peers, discuss hot topics and trends, talk to Echo360 leadership and influence future features and functionality.

Registration is FREE so register today for the European Community Conference – it’s sure to fill up quickly.


Where and When

The University of Edinburgh John McIntyre Conference Center 18 Holyrood Park Rd. Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 4 June, Classroom Tour, 10:00 – 11:30
Tuesday, 4 June, Conference Sessions, 13:00 – 17:00
Tuesday, 4 June, Welcome Reception + Dinner, 17:30

Wednesday, 5 June, Conference Sessions, 09:00–17:00

Contact Info

Tim Weir




Tue, Jun 04

12:00 - 13:00


13:00 - 13:10

Welcome from Echo360

Chris Huff, Senior Vice President, Academic Partnerships, Echo360


Leading Institutions to Change

Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal and Director of Learning, Teaching and Web, The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has been challenged and transformed by our rollout of lecture recording with Echo 360. The leadership actions of senior managers, student representatives, learning technologists, academic colleagues, technical teams, programme managers, communications professionals, lawyers, top researchers, technology partners and industry unions all contributed to shape our experience in 2017-2019. In this presentation Melissa will reflect on the successes and lessons learned. She will give insights into the processes and politics of a large scale implementation and offer new guidance for leaders in their own institutions.


Keynote: AI in Higher Education - Friend or Foe?

Fred Singer, CEO, Echo360

From Alexa ordering our shopping to the complex marketing algorithms that know when we’re planning to book a hiking holiday, the exponential growth in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by business and industry has transformed the way we live. But how are advances in AI influencing the delivery of teaching and learning in our universities? Come along and discuss:  The benefits – and potential risks – of embracing AI in HE.  How new technology can improve accessibility and help create a more inclusive learning space.  The power of both big data and small data.  The innovative tools that can help lecturers better engage students and support a more diverse population of learners


But you can’t do that in the Humanities!

Joy McEntee, Senior Lecturer in the English and Creative Writing Department, University of Adelaide

The Humanities are in a bind. The emergent economic realities of universities often mean they can no longer be taught in the traditional resource intensive ways (i.e. in small classes focussed on discussion). Quizzing and polling can present solutions to resource constraint in that they can be used in large classes, but many lecturers resist these methods in Humanities subjects like English literature, Film Studies and History, feeling that they are reductive. This workshop demonstrates methods for using Echo360 activities to support discussion in large classes so that it is possible to have large Humanities classes that are engaging, fun, and rich in learning.


Afternoon Break


Echo360 Academic Champions

Eoin Coakley, Course Director for undergraduate Civil Engineering courses, Coventry University

Johnny De Silva, Senior Analyst Developer, King’s College London

Rod Digges, Learning Technologist, University College London

Dr. Cecilia Goria, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham

Louise Robson, Director of Learning and Teaching, University of Sheffield

Dr. Michael Seery, Director of Teaching, University of Edinburgh

New in 2019, the Echo360 Academic Champions programme was established to assist and support institutions in furthering the use of video and active learning within their courses.  Six individual champions were selected from a large pool of applications and participated in a two-day collaborative workshop earlier in the year. During this session you will have the chance to hear from each champion about their experience in the programme thus far and their goals to increase the adoption at their institution.




Making Video Accessible

Cassidy Fein, Senior Product Manager, Echo360

The United Kingdom is facing new accessibility standards effective in September of 2020. Learn how Echo360 will help you meet these new standards with your video content and what we are doing to ensure that the platform is fully accessible to all students.


Do your students know the best way to use lecture capture?

Dr. Louise Robson, Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching, The University of Sheffield

The number of institutions using lecture capture is on the rise. However, while there are significant benefits for students having access to captures, it is apparent they do not recognize the most effective way to use these, e.g. watching the whole recording rather than dipping into the parts they did not understand, or watching the recording at an accelerated speed. At the University of Sheffield we are taking an institutional approach to student support. This session will explain how we are using visual guides generated as part of a multi-institution collaboration to help support students.


Welcome Reception & Dinner

Join the Echo360 team at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel for stunning views of the Edinburgh Castle, cocktails, dinner and great conversation.

Wed, Jun 05

8:00 – 9:00

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15

Welcome from Echo360

Chris Huff, Senior Vice President, Academic Partnerships, Echo360

9:15 -10:00

Launching lecture capture and the positive impact of communication and engagement

Lorraine Spalding, Programme Communications, The University of Edinburgh

This interactive session will showcase the positive impact of communication and engagement in launching and developing lecture capture. Participants will find out how and why the University of Edinburgh put communication and engagement at the heart of its ambitious plans to rollout lecture recording at scale. Participants will take away a series of top tips for managing change and supporting the adoption of new technology using effective communication and engagement tactics, and will also have an opportunity to ask questions and put forward any communications challenges they are experiencing.


Enhancing the Instructor and Student experience

Cassidy Fein, Senior Product Manager, Echo360

Tony Iraia, Product Manager, Echo360

Learn about the recent and planned advances for instructor and student tools in the Echo360 platform that will help make video learning more active and engaging. The focus will be on new instructor capabilities and their effect on student learning.

10:45 -11:00

Morning Break


Echo360: what do students think?

Joy McEntee, Senior Lecturer in the English and Creative Writing Department, University of Adelaide

In this pilot study, which was funded in part by an Echo360 Champion’s Grant, Echo360 activities were embedded lectures in 7 subjects across Humanities, Law and Engineering, to find out what students thought about them. Students reported that the technology was easy to use, that the platform was engaging, and that it was worthwhile: Echo360 was perceived as a valuable use of lecture time, improving learning in courses. Students supported its being expanded. They valued the ability to ask and answer questions anonymously, and valued the potential of the technology for increasing inclusion. We also found an unanticipated result: lecturer (in)efficiency using Echo360 hardly impacted at all, so while it is easy to use for both students and lecturers, students are prepared to tolerate lecturers “learning on the job,” as it were, which should be encouraging for lecturers.  Finally, we compared student evaluations of learning and teaching on a key question concerning the use of technology in teaching year on year, and found dramatic improvements in the years when Echo360 activities were used. This talk ends with a discussion of top tips for maximising the learning potential of Echo360.


Lecture Recording: What Does It Change?

Dr. Jill MacKay, Research Fellow, The University of Edinburgh

At the University of Edinburgh we have concluded a large mixed-methods evaluation of the implementation of Echo 360. We conducted 13 unstructured interviews with staff, a survey of 295 first-year students and a student focus group. Thematic saturation, where no new ideas are raised in data collection, was reached quickly. Our main findings showed a distance between how lecturers and students conceptualized the lecture space, including what lectures were ultimately ‘for’, and what responsibilities each party has. Our main finding therefore is a novel value of lecture recording is opening a conversation about why and how we lecture.


Lunch & Networking


Birds of a Feather Discussion Tables

Table 1: Shape the Future of the Echo360 Product Roadmap
Echo360 Host: Paul Lawler, Vice President, Engineering and Tony Iraia, Product Manager

Table 2: What We Can Learn From Student Use of Echo360
Echo360 Host: John Couperthwaite, Education Consultant

Table 3: Increasing Teaching Impact with Echo360
Echo360 Host: Dr. Perry Samson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Michigan, Head of Teaching Innovation at Echo360

Table 4: Using ASR For Smarter Search, Closed Captioning, and Greater Student Engagement
Echo360 Host: Cassidy Fein, Senior Product Manager

Table 5: Ask Us Anything (About Echo360)
Echo360 Hosts: Ian Nickson, Academic Partnership Manager, Naveed Shah , Technical Solutions Manager

Table 6: Top Tech Trends Influencing the Future of Learning
Echo360 Host: Fred Singer, CEO and Linda Storey, Director of Academic Partnerships EMEA


Echo360 Engineering - Internal Alignment, External Value

Paul Lawler, Vice President of Engineering, Echo360

This presentation describes the changes made in the last year to the Engineering organization at Echo360 which were designed to achieve better customer outcomes. Paul will discuss commitments to technological best practices which help create better alignment with Echo360’s internal stakeholders and how this leads to increased value for Echo360’s customers.


Afternoon Break


Spotlight on Learning From Video and Multi Media - insights from one Universities' multifaceted consultation

Sandra Partington, Senior Education Technologist, City, University of London

A recent project at City, University of London, has taken a three strand approach to investigating the use of video and media rich tools and services for learning, teaching and assessment, including, a review of our tools and services (including lecture capture, video platform, webinar and media creation facilities), a consultation on lecture capture with our biggest users and a longer term research project to evaluate staff and students’ experiences of learning from Video and multimedia.


Institutional Management of Your Echo360 Environment

Tony Iraia, Product Manager, Echo360

It’s now easier to manage capture options and platform configuration across your institution, no matter the size. Learn some of the best practices and options available and find out about future enhancements that will benefit administrators and all users as a result.


Evidence for Why a Backchannel Should Be Part of Every Introductory Course

Panel Moderator: Perry Samson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Michigan, Head of Teaching Innovation at Echo360

Many students in large college survey courses are reluctant to pose verbal questions during class. Entreating students with “any questions?” more often than not fails to produce a response and, when it does, comes from a small subset of all students. Highlights of this study include: • Significant gender differences exist in student attitudes about verbalizing questions in a large lecture setting. • The use of the Echo360 backchannel eliminated gender differences in posting questions in a large lecture setting. • No difference existed in use of the Echo360 backchannel between students physically in class and those participating remotely. • Students who reported discomfort asking verbal questions in pre-semester surveys asked as many questions as other students using the Echo360 backchannel. • The discovery, through a longitutinal study, that a majority of course graduates felt the use of the Echo360 backchannel increased their willingness to pose verbal questions in subsequent courses. As it is our responsibility to encourage participation from all students it is our responsibility to create an inclusive environment for student engagement. The Echo360 backchannel is an important step in creating such an environment.

16:15 - 16:25

Closing Remarks

Chris Huff, Senior Vice President, Academic Partnerships, Echo360


Hotel & Travel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket
Edinburgh, EH1 2HS

*Approximately 1.6 miles from the John McIntyre Conference Center

Located in the heart of Old Town Edinburgh, this contemporary hotel is surrounded by culture. You’ll love the Edinburgh Castle views from the hotel and the fact that within a few minutes you can be on the Royal Mile or exploring the National Museum of Scotland.

To reserve your room simply click on the online reservations link: https://www.apexhotels.co.uk/apex-grassmarket-hotel

All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card.

Salisbury Green Hotel & Bistro

Pollock Halls
18 Holyrood Park Road
Edinburgh, EH16 5AY

*Approximately 2-minute walk to the John McIntyre Conference Center

The Salisbury Green Hotel is just steps from the John McIntyre Conference Center where the conference is being held. To reserve your room simply click on the online reservations link: http://www.book.accom.ed.ac.uk, and use promotion code: EVENT, you will receive 15% off accommodation.

The discounted rate is valid for stay on Monday, 3 June to Thursday, 7 June 2019.  All bookings are subject to availability. All other nights are subject to standard room rates. All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card.



The University of Edinburgh
John McIntyre Conference Center
18 Holyrood Park Rd.
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, United Kingdom
Google Maps

The conference will take place in Edinburgh, at the John McIntyre Conference Centre

By Air

Edinburgh Airport is approximately 14 miles, 25 minutes. A taxi from Edinburgh Airport to the venue should cost £25-£30 and Uber pricing is similar. There is a bus from the airport to Waverley Bridge (“Airlink”), which costs £7 (adult open return); from there, see below for directions from Waverley (the station).

By Car

This building is located within the Pollock Halls of Residence site on the Holyrood Park Road off the A7 near Arthur’s Seat in the south east of Edinburgh.
The Transport and Parking Office of the University of Edinburgh manages parking at the University. University car parks are for the use of permit holders only, and are subject to the university’s parking regulations. Permits are available for visitors to the university.

By Rail

Edinburgh Station (usually known as Waverley) is about two miles from Pollock Halls. From Waverley a taxi will take 5-10 mins and should cost ca. £7. For a bus from Waverley you should exit the station on to Princes Street and turn right. Cross to the other side of North Bridge and turn right on to the bridge. From the first bus stop, take a number 14, 30 or 33 to the Commonwealth Pool stop (the pool is presently boarded up and being refurbished). The adult single fare is £1.50 (you need to provide the exact money). Turn back along the way you have come and turn right on to Holyrood Park Road and you will see Pollock Halls on your right. This is likely to take about half an hour.

By Bus