News

Partnership to evaluate impact of active learning on student outcomes

By Meris Stansbury
July 29th, 2015

Echo360 selected for its proven track record in increasing student engagement and outcomes in over 650 schools.

student-outcomes-acceleratorThe Jefferson Education Accelerator (JEA) announced today the selection of teaching and learning platform Echo360 as the first company partner for JEA, which helps to evaluate and scale education solutions that can make demonstrable impacts on student learning outcomes.

“Echo360 is an excellent example of the type of company JEA intends to support,” said Bart Epstein, Founding CEO of Jefferson Education Accelerator. “Echo360 is already used by nearly 3 million students in 8,000 classrooms at 650 higher education schools across 30 countries. Our review of its internal data shows strong evidence of significant impact on student engagement and outcomes. They have integrated a unique combination of teaching tools in a way that makes scaling potentially much easier. Through formal research and engagement with faculty, students, and administrators, JEA seeks to further document, validate, and communicate the impact of Echo360’s platform.”

The expansion of mobile computing and ubiquity of broadband on campus is enabling college and university leaders to capture better information and insight into student behavior than ever before, during and after large lectures. Preliminary research at the University of Michigan and other leading institutions shows that Echo360’s platform provides critical information and tools to improve student engagement and achievement.

“We know that traditional lectures present a significant challenge for institutions grappling with completion rates and student engagement. Echo360 already shows strong evidence of supporting faculty and engaging students,” said Robert Pianta, Ph.D., Dean of University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Chairman of the Board of JEA. “At UVA, we’re excited to further explore how technology like theirs can help faculty and institutional leaders improve actual student success.”

Backed by Steve Case’s Revolution Growth Fund, the platform makes it easy for students to ask questions anonymously during class, follow along with the lecture and take notes, or revisit the lecture and class discussion after class. Data from Echo360’s platform help faculty support every student, and can be used real time to inform institutional analytics efforts.

“As a company founded by academics, research is at our core. Faculty tell us that our platform enables them to understand student challenges – and intervene early,” said Echo360 CEO Fred Singer. “Many of our university partners conduct their own research studies and we are looking forward to working with JEA to put our evidence to the test in a way that can provide valuable data to inform big data and predictive analytics efforts across institutions.”

JEA selects only companies that are well past the startup stage, are growingly rapidly, and seek further external validation of their work. JEA provides access to expertise, investment capital, and the opportunity to conduct efficacy studies with leading researchers and practitioners nationwide. Since launching in February, JEA has evaluated hundreds of growing ed tech companies that have expressed interest in being part of JEA’s work, and will announce additional partners this summer.

“Unlike traditional accelerators, JEA works with companies and executive teams–who have already demonstrated success–over multi-year engagements to support their long-term growth,” said Brien C. Walton, JEA Founding Chief Investment Officer. “Echo360 is a classic growth stage company past their Series C fund raise with impressive traction and internal evidence of their impact. They stand out as a company with unique technology that can scale solutions that are improving student outcomes.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.


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