Everything you need to know about the Live Stream lectures pilot in less than 3 minutes:

(1) The Project

The Echo360 Active Learning Platform‘s live streaming utility affords students with flexible learning options.

It supports capacity for students to engage through a variety of tools:

  • question and answer
  • private notes
  • bookmark important content
  • flag confusing content.
Student View of tools in the Active Learning Platform

Student tools in the Echo360 Active Learning Platform

While lecturers can design tasks with a range of interactive slides that require active student input:

  • multiple choice
  • short answer
  • image quiz
  • ordered list
  • numerical.
Overview of the five interactive slide types

Echo360 Active Learning Platform Interactive Slide content types

Additionally, convenors have access to an analytics dashboard. Here, data captured (i.e. the number of questions, flagged content, views, and private notes word count, etc.) is displayed visually.

(2) Practice Makes Perfect

The Faculty Learning and Teaching Support team ran a practice live stream on February 23rd for the first-year PSYC104 cohort.

Approximately 60 students connected for the 20 minute practice and submitted 42 questions.

Graphic showing non-linear connections between ten people

Interestingly, many practice participants became active responders and supporters to their peers during the Week 1 PSYC104 live stream lecture Q and A.

(3) The Pilot

The pilot officially kicked off last week (Week 1) to great success in five Psychology units: PSYC104, PSY246, PSY247, PSY234 and PSYC332.

The Faculty Learning and Teaching Support Team, and the PSYC104 PAL leader, supported the PSYC104 lecturers by tending to the technical and content questions, respectively.

Photograph of PSYC104 lecture in the Macquarie Theatre

PSYC104 Week 1, Session 1, 2017 lecture in Macquarie Theatre

Students have shown overwhelming enthusiasm for the Q and A tool, which has been utilised during live streams, most prominently between peers.

But the community of inquiry does not stop when the lecture does! After the live lecture, the Q and A exchange continues between students, and lecturers are also joining in to clarify points of confusion in the lecture content.

The Q and A tool is evidently facilitating further peer exchanges and learning.

(4) FAQs

The most common technical issue has been the Flash update. The sticky point being enabling Flash in your browser. These issues are addressed in the Active Learning Platform Student Guide.

Students have also enquired about:

  • How do I unflag?
    It’s easy. Simply click the flag icon again.
    Note: there’s no on-screen notification.
  • Can I pause the live stream?
    Lecturers are presenting live:
The character, general Maximus Decimus Meridius, in Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000) movie yelling 'Are you not entertained?'

Russell Crowe as general Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator movie (2000)

Lecture recordings can be accessed through the Echo box in your iLearn unit a few hours after the live stream ends. 

(5) Analytics Revealed

The Active Learning Platform dashboard displays analytics for the  unit teaching team to interpret, reflect on, and alter future learning activities.

In the example below, we can see that in the Week 1 PSYC104 live stream there was a peak in students’ private notes at the 48 minute mark. When reviewing the recorded lecture footage we see that Colin Wastell was discussing the fundamental concepts of research and the need to provide empirical evidence.

Graph showing peaks in Notes word count during the Week 1 PSYC104 Lecture

Echo360 Active Learning Platform Analytics Dashboard

What is most curious is that a very similar trend in private note spikes occurred across all the Psychology live stream units in Week 1:

  • PSY246 at the 1:26:00 mark
    Addressing approaches to the study of cognition, specifically the strengths and weaknesses of different methods
  • PSY247 at the 1:22:00 mark
    Discussing methods
  • PSY234 at the 0:31:00 mark
    Exploring how the scientific approach is better than common sense

A gif of the characters Phoebe and Chandler from the 90's TV show Friends exclaiming 'Wow!'

Psychology students, across all levels, are prioritising information about the research methods and epistemologies they need to participate in their discipline.

This prompts some questions – Will this trend:

  • continue across the semester?
  • extend across the faculty?
  • appear in other disciplines across campus?

Only time will tell!

Stay tuned for more adventures of the Echo360 Active Learning Platform and Live Stream analytics!

(UPDATE) Student Survey Results

Student Survey: 148 participants; 95% agree the live stream is easy to access; 80% agree it is an enjoyable learning experience; 78% would recommend it; 82% want it in more units; the majority connected to the live stream from home, on a laptop using wifi.

Student Survey Results infographic

Posted by Beverley Miles

Beverley is a Senior Learning Designer in the Academy of Continuing Professional Development in Education, Faculty of Arts. She is the founder of the Macquarie Undergraduate Research Internship (MURI), co-director of the Telemachus Ancient History Mentor Program (Tele's Angels), and member of the Archaeology of Death and Burial TV team led by A/Prof Ronika Power – bringing digital multimodal text types to assessment with Adobe Education.

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