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Embracing Non-Traditional Students at Indian River State College

Embracing Non-Traditional Students at Indian River State College

Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, Florida is comprised of a diverse student population, and many of these individuals have modern life and learning needs. Like at most institutions today, the typical student is not an 18-year-old coming straight from high school. Up to three-fourths of undergraduate students nationwide are considered “non-traditional students,” juggling responsibilities of jobs and families, alongside school. Additionally, many IRSC students speak English as a second language, or arrive to college without the study skills, academic preparation or family support needed to succeed.

Steven Ramos, Instructional Technology Coordinator for the school’s virtual campus, explains that students “Need to access the material in their own time.”

To better support their students, IRSC leverages Echo360’s video and active learning technology to make classroom learning accessible and more engaging to students before, during and after class.

Providing Key Flexibility

When balancing work and family obligations, students at IRSC often require the kind of flexibility that Echo360’s video platform technology affords.

Some students find it necessary to be able to review and interact with course material when they have more time available, after regularly scheduled class time is finished.

Others are able to use recorded lectures as their primary form of learning when their professional lives demand their physical presence, but they want to be able to continue furthering their education goals.

Maximizing Student Productivity

Even for those students following a more traditional path, Echo360 technology offers the benefit of increasing productivity for students who are balancing many educational priorities at once. Some students are able to listen to and review lectures during long commutes to and from school and work. Others find it helpful that Power Point slides are integrated into course lectures, so that when they return to a lesson learned earlier in class, they can easily find specific, comprehensive course material to review.

Improving Student Retention

Particularly in science and medicine programs, many students are learning a vast amount of material, all of it interlaced with essential terminology. Echo360’s video platform allows students to learn and retain this kind of detailed information better than a traditional classroom would. With a recorded lecture in hand, students are able to go back and review complete course material more easily than they might if they were only using their own notes.

In this way, traditional learning, in the form of note taking during lectures, is bolstered by a more modern form, which ensures more accurate review.

Ensuring Participation and Engagement

In any classroom, students’ attention ebbs and flows. Echo360 offers tools for interaction and participation that require students to share their knowledge with each other and their instructors in real time. This ability to engage with material through question and answering sessions, polling, and other tools, means that students are participating in class and simultaneously increasing their own comprehension of course materials.

Creating Sharable Resources

After carefully prepared course material has been presented in class, it doesn’t disappear into a smattering of hand-written notes in students’ spiral notebooks. With Echo360 recording technology, that course material becomes a sustained, tangible resource that can be stored and shared through the platform technology with other instructors and students. The material becomes a highly valuable resource for learning, educating and most importantly, for supporting today’s students.

Watch as faculty and staff tell the story at Indian River State College.

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