Echo360, at EDUCAUSE’s annual meeting, announced the roll out of a series of new mobile features designed to increase student engagement during class and extend access to course materials, including lecture playback, outside of class.
Using the new features, students can now view faculty-selected content, ask and respond to questions, and review lectures and course material 24/7 from their mobile device. At the same time, the technology generates valuable insights into student learning and engagement, helping to inform faculty decision-making and institutional research and analytics efforts.
A 2016 EDUCAUSE study found that almost all undergraduate students (96%) own a smartphone and over half (57%) own a tablet. 78% of students with a smartphone report using mobile devices in at least one of their courses, and a majority of students agreed technology increases their engagement in learning.
“Until relatively recently, most faculty saw mobile devices as a distraction in class; we’re now flipping that idea on its head by using technology to stimulate engagement – and get a much more holistic understanding of student behavior,” said Dr. Stephanie Cole, a history professor at the University of Texas at Arlington who uses Echo360’s mobile technology in her classroom. “Students who might not otherwise engage in class are now using their phones to ask questions; as a faculty member, I’m receiving insights into what aspects of the lecture created confusion, and what parts students annotate or replay.”
The new app features are designed to help students keep pace on the go, as they juggle studies alongside work and home responsibilities. Students are able to seamlessly interact with faculty and peers in class, respond to lecture questions, and flag areas of confusion. After class, students can view lecture video and supporting course material from their phone. Faculty use the app to track attendance, poll students in class, control their lecture slides, and generate meaningful discussion with insights into how students are following along from their own app.
“As mobile technology continues to permeate the student experience, it’s critical that the tools we use meet the changing needs of students and faculty,” said Fred Singer, CEO of Echo360. “Our enhanced mobile app gives students better access to course materials, and extends the opportunity for deeper engagement with course material, whether it be answering a poll question, re-watching a class lecture, or live feedback to their instructor.”
In addition to the engagement features, the new single sign-on feature streamlines the user experience across platforms and simplifies the log-in process for students and faculty. The new app is available on both iOS and Android operating systems, and can be downloaded on iTunes or GooglePlay.