As a meteorologist, Dr. Perry Samson is no stranger to inclement weather. Students in Samson’s “Extreme Weather” course at the University of Michigan learn firsthand about hurricanes, tornadoes and how climate change can intensify the effects of weather around the world. So, when Winter Storm Jayden forced the University to cancel classes for only the third time in 40 years due to sub-zero temperatures, Samson decided that the “polar vortex” was a teachable moment. Rather than cancel his scheduled class, Samson took his class online and was able to live-stream his lecture, using Echo360, to more than 100 students.

“Even though my presentation was online, students are still able to interact the same way they way they would if they were present in the classroom,” says Samson. “I’m able to poll students, ask them questions, and see their responses just as I would in a normal classroom situation.”

Live Streaming Class

Dr. Samson’s efforts to teach his class online were not lost on his students. One student, sophomore Shelby Alston, commutes more than 90 minutes each day to campus and bad weather can make it difficult to get to class. She called Samson’s presentation “amazing” and thinks universities should have more classes that are streamed live when weather or other events close a campus.

In an article that appeared in Michigan Daily, Alston said she wasn’t stressed out about not being able to drive to campus to attend Samson’s lecture. “He took a video, had the audio streaming, and if we had any questions, we could type it into the platform. It was still interactive, and I was able to get the valuable teaching that I wanted.”

For the record, Dr. Samson hopes that wild weather events do not become the norm. But he says it is nice to have the option to continue teaching in cases when “extreme weather” hits.

Weather or other events don’t have to shut down your campus. Contact us to learn how Echo360 can take your classes online.

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