Customer Story
Higher Ed

Transitioning From High School to College With Class

Delaware State University, founded in 1891, is a historically black land grant university renowned for its commitment to quality education. They entrusted Class to transition their vital University Seminar course online, aiding students in their transition from high school to college.

DSU At-a-Glance

16:1

student-to-teacher ratio

47%

of students live on campus

#2

ranked historically black university in the U.S.

Contents

The ChallengeAdapting to a changing learning environment

Like many institutions during the pandemic, Delaware State University pivoted to offer its classes online at scale. But as campuses started to open their doors again to in-person learning, DSU realized virtual learning could be the solution to help manage a growing student population. “Our institution actually grew in enrollment throughout the pandemic,” says Dr. Clytrice Watson, Associate Provost for Academic and Student Services at DSU. “We realized that we could conduct our classes online effectively and that we had to consider the modalities in which we offer classes to be more effective with time, space, and our human capital in terms of teaching.”

“We made an executive decision that University Seminar would remain online once the institution opened up for in-person learning again,” explains Dr. Watson. “It provided more flexibility in offering the course. We had more students; they needed more classroom space. There were certain courses that we thought would be better served to be online for the students as well as be more convenient for them, too.”

As DSU searched for the right virtual learning tool to facilitate this course, they knew they wanted to focus on finding a solution that would improve their student engagement. Many virtual classroom solutions are only suited for asynchronous learning or don’t offer the right tools or features to accurately replicate the in-person experience for students. Dr. Watson and her team recognized that providing a learning solution built for this new era of virtual education could better serve the University Seminar goals.

The SolutionFinding a scalable, engaging virtual learning solution


Image provided by Delaware State University

Enter Class, which provides an interactive, connected virtual learning experience with tools that help instructors track focus, share course materials, and provide feedback to students. “What attracted me to Class was the fact that everyone could be engaged,” says Dr. Watson. “It has the attention tracker, enhanced breakout rooms, the ability to show different websites or links without going in and out [of the platform], and it just makes it easier to really engage with the students and keep them engaged.”

An intuitive, easy-to-access, and easy-to-use solution was also an important consideration for the DSU Office of Student Success in their search for a new virtual learning solution. “We have Class linked to our learning management system,” begins Tiffany Alexander, Coordinator of Student Transition. “After they have downloaded the app, students can just click on the link in the LMS, and then they’re in Class. There’s nothing extra that they have to do. It’s just easy for them to navigate.”

“It’s important to have strong technical support from the organizations you’re partnering with. Class has provided that with their responsiveness, availability, and hands-on training. It feels like Class cares about our student success. It has been a great experience.”
Dr. Clytrice Watson, Associate Provost for Academic and Student Services, Delaware State University
Easy attention tracking
“My favorite feature is the attention tracking, because the eye icons will get big and pop up if students are not paying attention. So then I’ll ask, ‘Are you okay?’ And then all of a sudden, everybody’s paying attention now. So that’s an excellent feature,” shares Tiffany.
“I love that we’re able to interact with the students as a class or privately. I thought that was one of the features that made it feel like you were in the classroom. It’s like you could take a student in a hallway, a virtual hallway, like you wanted to talk to them one on one,” says Dr. Watson.
“Students tell me that Class is easier to navigate than other platforms. It’s simple. We have it linked to our learning management system. They can just click on it in the learning management system, and then they’re in class. There’s nothing extra that they have to do is just easy for them to navigate,” explains Tiffany.
“I would like to share that I have worked with many different organizations when it comes to setting up different platforms, and just the support that I received from our rep at Class is stellar,” notes Tiffany.

The ResultPartnering to meet the needs of today’s students

The DSU Office of Student Success team is committed to ensuring academic success for first-year students—both on and off campus—and adopting and implementing the right tools is a critical component of that success. “It is very important to have that strong technical support with the organizations that you’re partnering with,” says Dr. Watson. “Class has definitely provided that with their responsiveness, their availability, and their hands-on training.”

“It feels like Class cares about our student success as well,” adds Tiffany. “It has been a great experience.”

With Class, the DSU Office of Student Success has found a unique balance of flexibility, structure, and functionality that keeps their students engaged and learning, regardless of where they are accessing the course. “The pandemic has shifted some things in learning,” reflects Dr. Watson. “Higher education has to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of this new generation of students to make sure that we are serving their needs in terms of learning and convenience of course offerings. The virtual learning space is here to stay. It’s not going away.”

With Class, Delaware State University is:

Improving student engagement

“I was very hopeful that Class would increase student engagement within the virtual classroom. And I believe that it has. The instructors enjoy Class, and some have actually asked if they could use it for other courses they teach,” says Dr. Watson.

Enhancing college and career readiness

“We are undergoing some changes with the University Seminar to make it more student focused in terms of those transitional tools for them, the survival skills as a college freshman as they segue into their second semester of their freshman year. It's going to be converted into a career development course,” boasts Dr. Watson.

Increasing flexibility for students

“Students enjoy the flexibility of having the class online, so they don't have to rush to a physical place per se. They can have Class where they are. They enjoy the Class platform, and they’d like to have Class for all of their classes,” says Tiffany.

Ready to see what Class can do for your organization?

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