Increasing student engagement with Echo360 Faculty Spark - View, reflect and apply

Last updated on 20/02/2020

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Description

Dr Joanne Lewohl talks about Echo360 Active Learning Platform (ALP) and how it has transformed her classroom into an active teaching and learning space.

Challenge

The challenge in teaching neurobiology has been to include interactive elements in the context of a large venue with high student numbers.

Approach

So the approach that I took was to incorporate Echo360 tools to increase student engagement and increase the interactivity in their workshop classes. These tools allow me to capture live presentation sound and screen content, and then make it available to students as a learning resource within Learning@Griffith Course site or Organisation.

I have used two features which I really like. The first is the use of multimedia slides, so that I can embed video directly into my presentation, and seamlessly transition into the videos that I like to show in class. The second feature is the polling question, the multiple choice questions, and "click on target image" questions so that I gauge students' understanding of key topics by asking them simple questions, or questions that are designed to produce discussion.

I can then address any misunderstandings or misconceptions about the material that's being taught before it becomes a bigger issue.

Students enjoy using the platform, and they particularly like the note taking facility. Being able to ask questions and interact with the teaching material in a non-confrontational way was also flagged as a favourited feature.

Outcomes

  • Transformed classroom into a more engaging teaching and learning space
  • Students have 24/7 access to lecture content post-class
  • Improved quality of instruction

Enabling Technology

The technology used in this instance was Echo360 Active Learning Platform. Echo360 Active Learning Platform contains a range of interactive elements, features and video components that may assist in increasing engagement and active learning within your teaching.

Implement

Give yourself enough time to consider how to use it effectively in your course - the type of questions that you want to ask in the way in which you want to ask them.

It's not always the simple straightforward questions that are the best - often it's the more difficult ones, or the ones that are designed to encourage discussion which are more useful for the students.

I use the polling questions in different ways - sometimes they're designed to give the students confidence that they know the answer so fairly straightforward case scenarios where they get to choose a diagnosis for a patient for example.

Sometimes I use the polling questions to make sure that the students understand a key concept so the question will be phrased in such a way that there are two possible answers one that's right and one that's nearly right.

What I find with those questions is that I get a 50/50 split in answers between those two options and then I can talk through why one is correct or why one is more correct than the other, while also addressing any misunderstandings.

If Echo360 was no longer available I wouldn't be able to interact with the students in the same way. It would more difficult to ask questions and to get them to speak up in class. With Echo, they're more likely to put their hand up and talk in class. That's certainly not been my experience in previous years where the environment or the number of students in the room is somewhat intimidating for many students.

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Licence

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Preferred Citation

Lewohl, J., & Learning Futures (2020). Increasing student engagement with Echo360. Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/7788/view