Community colleges strive to study engagement, outcomes

By Laura Devaney
September 2nd, 2015

A new collaboration between Achieving the Dream and Echo360 will identify which learning behaviors have the biggest impact on student success.

colleges-engagementCommunity college network Achieving the Dream will explore which student engagement behaviors and pedagogical strategies may be leveraged for greater student persistence and completion. The network will collaborate with Echo360.

Around the country, colleges and universities are working diligently to deploy new strategies to ensure that students are set up for academic success.

Building on an established body of research that recognizes the impact student engagement has on outcomes, Achieving the Dream will collaborate with teaching and learning platform Echo360 to provide more specific insight into what contributes to student success.

“Achieving the Dream puts a significant focus on teaching and learning as the critical lever of change for improving student success. This new project is one of the ways we’re supporting our network colleges to move the needle for students,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Echo360’s Active Learning Platform enables community colleges to track and continuously improve student persistence and completion outcomes. Our goal is to provide more actionable strategies that help community colleges ensure that more students are successfully meeting their educational goals.”

The new project will establish a cohort comprised of a select group of ten Achieving the Dream Network colleges to study the correlation between components of engagement—such as taking lecture and reading notes, participating in class, revisiting the lecture after school—and resulting student outcomes.
Participating colleges will study student engagement using the Echo360 Active Learning Platform, which enables students to participate during and beyond class and gives instructors real-time insight on where their students are struggling. While using the platform, students can ask questions during class in an anonymous and risk-free way and take notes that are aligned to lectures and other content for easy review; and then collaborate and engage with course materials, instructors, and peers any time and any place.

Instructors then receive real-time input on where students are struggling as well as their engagement in and outside of class.

“Community colleges hold the key to transforming our nation’s economic competitiveness. Our partnership with Achieving the Dream reflects our shared vision in transforming a student’s future through their learning experience,” said Fred Singer, Founder and CEO of Echo360. “By providing real-time insight into student engagement, instructors and institutions can ensure they take advantage of every learning opportunity. This new working relationship is an exciting opportunity to further explore how engagement can make a difference for students of every background.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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