Customer Story
Higher Ed

Preparing Students for a Hybrid World With Class

With both online and in-person students, the Centre for Higher Education Studies uses Class to ensure equitable access for learners across Victoria and to deliver an engaging hybrid learning experience.

Key Outcomes

100%

of students access courses virtually at least once

50%

of students exclusively access courses virtually

25%

of students are from regional and rural areas

17

university courses available through 8 Victorian universities

Contents

The ChallengeEnsuring equitable access for all students

The Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) is a new center of excellence designed to improve educational outcomes for high-ability students across Victoria, Australia, through accelerated programs for senior students from government secondary schools. Serving both online and on-site students, CHES wanted to give all learners equitable access to an engaging classroom experience. They needed a way to ensure their dispersed student population could continue their education from anywhere and build strong peer-to-peer relationships.

“Using a video conferencing software just wasn’t the answer for us. You can’t read the room,” says Sapphira Talbot-Strettle, Learning Specialist at CHES. “So when I took this role, I wanted to ensure that the learning experience for the students online could replicate the experience of being in the classroom as much as possible. Not being passive, not the blank screens. I had this idea of being able to really bring them into the classroom and create a connection.”

The SolutionCreating an effective, hybrid learning environment


Image provided by CHES

After discovering Class, Sapphira knew she’d found the right online learning tool to deliver a more equitable education experience for on-site and online students at CHES. “What attracted me to Class is that it’s designed as a teaching tool, not just a generic tool that teachers could use,” recalls Sapphira. “The layout and the functionality empowered me to teach in a way that I hadn’t been able to teach before.”

“The key thing about any technology for education is it’s about how it allows for greater access and how it allows us as teachers to deliver our programs in an optimum way,” continues Sapphira. “At CHES, we want the learning experience to be enhanced for all students, and for teachers to have confidence that the right software can enhance what we can teach and to whom we can teach. Class enables every child to matter regardless of where they’re living, reduces the unfortunate inequity that exists, and gives access to everyone.”

“It’s a mix that works for students because even students that live closer to CHES, to our facility, are able to join online at times where it works in terms of their overall circumstances,” says Stewart Milner, Foundation Principal at CHES. “They really do comment that this is an experience of online learning that’s worked for them, that’s been much more interactive.”

“Students are saying that Class has been the best experience they’ve had of online or hybrid learning. And our staff can benefit from Class too because it gives them the flexibility to teach or participate in professional development from anywhere.”
Stuart Milner, Foundation Principal, Centre for Higher Education Studies
Engaging breakout rooms

“Previously we’d have to navigate between individual breakout rooms. With Class, you’re actually able to oversee and interact with all of the breakout rooms immediately. We’re also purposeful to mix on-site and online students in each of our breakout rooms,” shares Sapphira.

“The proctor view is incredibly useful for when students want to share screens with you, so you can see how they’re getting on. It can be used for assessments, but it also can just be used for reviewing work and promoting discussions. It’s a fantastic double feature!” explains Sapphira.

class gallery view showing k-12 learners

“Using the gallery, I can see students’ faces and speak to them, and they can speak to the class. The fact that they can actually see what’s going on and interact with their online and on-site classmates live is what really makes Class different and engaging,” says Sapphira.

“The support that Class provides gives me confidence in not only how Class is now, but how I know it’s going to be in the future as well. As the hybrid world and tech are evolving, so is Class. Class listens to teachers and understands our particular needs,” notes Sapphira.

The ResultPreparing students for their futures

By adding Class to their technology stack, CHES delivers a more equitable, accessible, and engaging hybrid learning experience that ultimately prepares both on-site and online students for their professional futures in a hybrid world. “The main benefit of Class for us is that it gives students in the classroom and students online an experience that’s almost as if they were there in the room together,” says Stewart. “And that’s what we’re really pleased about: they have that flexibility, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re online or on site. They’re learning how to communicate and collaborate in a hybrid model now, which will help them in their futures.”

“The pandemic showed that isolation is actually a real issue and that meaningful interaction is what’s important for student success,” adds Sapphira. “Using Class for interactive lessons and HyFlex learning means that our students get to know each other quickly, interact together, and form a bond really quickly. That enhances their learning of their subject and gives them confidence going into university courses, into the workforce, and in interacting in the wider world,” concludes Sapphira.

With Class, CHES is:

Creating an interactive learning experience

“Class delivers greater control of the learning experience, so we can create a seamless, engaging experience for students and in many ways for teachers,” shares Stewart.

Simplifying hybrid learning for staff

“Class has simplified the process for our teaching staff in terms of managing their in-person and remote students. Now, staff can use this technology to improve how they teach, from anywhere,” boasts Stewart.

Empowering students to thrive

“Class empowers on-site and online students to be seen, heard, and much more engaged. It’s allowed for a smoother, more sophisticated experience of teaching and learning,” says Stewart.

Ready to see what Class can do for your organization?

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