Collecting data is great, but it has to have a purpose. With the insights on student engagement collected by Barco weConnect virtual classroom, teachers can improve the teaching experience in several ways, both in real time and when the class is completed.
A virtual classroom is so much more than the online recreation of a physical classroom. The possibility to track student engagement and post-course analytics are only a few notable advantages.
However, analytics only have value when they are used to improve student outcomes. In the case of Barco’s weConnect virtual classroom platform, polls, quizzes and real-time analytics offer teachers and course organizers valuable insights that can be used to improve student performance, teacher efficiency and course content.
With a typical remote course, teachers are not always sure which and how many students are listening or what they have taken in. Students often get signed off with a tick at the end and they are told they can progress to the next stage. However, with the possibility to organize real-time polls and quizzes, teachers can assess students in real time and as a result know immediately whether a student can move on to the next stage of the training or not.
One of the prestigious institutes that has chosen Barco’s weConnect solution for part of its continuing professional development medical curriculum is University College London (UCL), a leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries.
Dr Justin Collins, urological surgeon at University College London Hospitals, is using the platform. He confirms that one of the biggest advantages is that the platform can collect data about the course of the class, data that can also be used to assess students in real time.
“weConnect is a good platform to test understanding and it will become a key part of proficiency-based training at UCL,” says Dr Justin Collins. “We can assess somebody, show that they are quality assured in their knowledge and their training before they can progress to the next part of the training.”
The engagement metrics provided after the course can also provide valuable information. For example, a significant drop in student engagement halfway through the course could indicate that participants have not really processed that part of it.
The same goes for teacher performance. Real-time and post-course analytics can provide valuable information to teachers about what works and what doesn’t. A real-time poll with below-standard results could indicate that the teacher hasn’t been all that effective in conveying the message.
On the other hand, a low number of raised hands could point to a part of the course that the teacher has dwelled on too long. It might indicate that students want to go faster over that particular topic.
Both real-time polls and post-course engagement metrics can provide information about the effectiveness of the course design and structure. What content formats work well? Does the course have a balanced structure? Are charts and diagrams easy to understand or way too complex? The engagement metrics will tell you.
Barco weConnect is a digital, real-time distance learning environment where teacher and students can easily see each other, discuss different types of content, ask questions and have animated discussions, all in an online setting. The strength of this platform is that it offers a front-row experience, both for the student and the teacher. Although located remotely, everyone in the virtual classroom can see face to face, making the experience more interactive and engaging than ever before.
The interaction with the close-up to the face enables you to see if students are engaged or not,” says Dr. Justin Collins. “This is very useful and drives that engagement. We also like to use the polls and the whiteboard technology that allows you to give control to other people and share drawings.”
Dr. Justin Collins is part of the pelvic cancer surgery team at UCLH. With 20 world leading teaching hospitals he is developing a website to share educational live surgery broadcast from high volume tertiary healthcare centres.