Active Learning

Echo360, iDesign Partner on Faculty Support

Echo360 is working with instructional design firm iDesign to help faculty make the most of its Active Learning Platform, a cloud-based system that incorporates lecture capture, learning analytics, content management and student engagement tools. The partnership "pairs [Echo360's] technology platform with hands-on support to help faculty implement modalities to better engage students," according to a press release.

iDesign typically works with universities to design instructional tools and guide faculty members as they work to use technology to enhance pedagogical practices. The company specializes the implementation of online, flipped and blended classrooms. The goal is to make teachers comfortable with technology they may not be familiar with and to make sure active learning is both instructionally relevant and provides data that is helpful with analytics.

"Our focus is on designing the ultimate student-centered learning experience with faculty," said iDesign CEO Paxton Riter. "When faculty feel comfortable, informed and equipped with the right design support, they can make the best use of the toolsets and data, allowing the technology to fulfill its promise."

Echo360's Active Learning Platform enables students to review course materials, ask questions during class and communicate with instructors and peers anywhere, any time. The platform also provides instructors with real-time data about how students are engaging with course content and progressing through the class.

The platform includes classroom and personal capture software and the SafeCapture HD hardware capture appliance. It also allows instructors to integrate polls, quizzes and other activities into their presentations. As for content management, the platform features a Learning Library, which allows instructors to manage presentations, documents and videos.

"But technology alone won't engage students or transform the classroom," said Perry Samson, head of teaching innovation at Echo360. "Great instructional designers armed with analytics can play a powerful role in guiding faculty through pedagogical shifts that maximize the potential of classroom technologies and data."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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