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Re-imagining eLearning

By Gabrielle Gosset

Published July 1, 2014

Technology is giving students and professors more options and resources when it comes to education. UB has offered audio and video recording services in a variety of formats. As a part of the Realizing UB 2020 strategic plan, the Infrastructure Task Force plan is replacing outdated equipment with the Echo360 system. 

Gabrielle Gosset (UB Student, Class of 2016) is studying Electrical Engineering and dreams of inventing something someday. In her free time, she enjoys writing, playing video games and watching cooking shows.

The End of an Outdated Era

UB's homegrown system for lecture recording is being replaced by Echo360, which is a more reliable and adaptable product. With the ability to view the recorded course content from any device anywhere, Echo360 systems will be welcome additions to over 25 more classrooms by the start of the Fall 2014 semester. It has several modes for capturing lectures including capturing full motion video of the instructor side-by-side with any visual materials shown on the projector (e.g. classroom computer, laptop or Wolf Visualizer). Capturing visual materials without the instructor on camera or simply capturing the audio are other options, which vary from classroom to classroom. The IPv6 workshop offered to UB IT support staff this spring is a great example of Echo360 in action.

The Future for Faculty

Echo360 only allows students enrolled in a given class to see the recordings. There is also improved data reporting so faculty can see how often recordings are viewed and for how long. The built-in reporting feature shows “hot spots,” or content areas that students have viewed repeatedly which helps indicate the areas where more attention is needed.  More innovative and interactive teaching tools are added to Echo360 each year.

Instructors can submit a request for lectures to be recorded and learn more about the different Echo360 digital recording types.    

Superior for Students

Students will benefit from the move to Echo360 as well. The integration of Echo360 with UBlearns means that all course content will be in one location instead of separate sites. Another added convenience is the ability to use any device to access recordings, without the need for RealPlayer. The ability to download only the audio or the audio with visual content also gives students a choice in how and where they access the lecture. A bookmarking feature on each recording allows students to mark critical or difficult information so they may refer back to those specific points of the lecture at a later time.

Over 25 systems will be replaced by Echo360 by the start of the fall 2014 semester. With Echo360, recordings can be accessed anywhere from a student’s home computer to their tablet or smartphone.

Students interested in learning more about Echo360 should check out the website for viewing video recorded courses.