Customer Story
K-12

Supporting the Education of Students and Staff With Class

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit 7 had a successful asynchronous online learning program in place. But they knew they needed a better tech tool to help them expand into synchronous programs.

WIU7 AT-A-GLANCE

17

WIU7 serves 17 school districts

3

There are three Career and Technology Centers

15+

The eAcademy has operated for over 15 years

Contents

The ChallengeDelivering engaging synchronous and asynchronous learning

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit 7 focuses on providing a collective support system to enhance educational opportunities for K-12 students in addition to educators and administrators within Westmoreland County. With an already successful asynchronous online learning program in place for the last 15 years, Westmoreland wanted to expand their virtual initiatives to include a synchronous program as well. But they needed to find a technology tool that was flexible enough to facilitate both modalities while being more intuitive and engaging than traditional video conferencing tools.

“Our biggest frustration was not really being able to know whether participants are engaged or not,” recalls Becky Henderson, Distance Learning Supervisor at Westmoreland. “As soon as they shut their camera off, you can’t tell whether they’re still paying attention, emailing on the side, or even watching a video on YouTube. You have no control over what your participants are really doing, so you can’t redirect them and reengage them.”

The SolutionFinding a flexible, intuitive online learning tool


Westmoreland discovered Class’s next generation virtual learning classroom and knew the solution could help them take their eAcademy to its next phase of virtual education. “What excited me about Class most was the way that it made instruction a seamless experience for users,” shares Becky. “As soon as we started testing it out and started experiencing the system, both as a student and as an instructor, we realized very quickly that the anxiety that a lot of new users feel goes away because you feel like you’re in a classroom. You feel like you’re with your group. You feel like you have a community in Class, and everything that you need is in one place. Class does exactly what it needs to do in keeping students engaged and feeling like they’re part of a community.”

“When we’re looking at the future of education, we need to prepare for every class that we offer our students to be face-to-face, virtual, and blended. And I think Class fits into that because it can bridge the gap, and it can be used in all of those scenarios.”
Becky Henderson, Distance Learning Supervisor, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit 7
A single source of truth

“Everything that we need is right there in one place. There’s no stress. It’s not, ‘Oh, I have to go over here, and I need to jump on this web browser now. And, oh, I didn’t pull this file up.’ You’re prepared for everything that you would want to do in person online in the exact same way,” shares Becky.

“Learners want technology that works. They need to make sure that they have everything at their fingertips. The ease of use makes them feel very comfortable because they don’t want to have to worry about if the technology is going to work. They want to be able to focus on the learning with their classmates. Class takes that anxiety away, so they can focus on learning,” explains Becky.

“With Class, we can reengage with our students. We can now say, ‘Oh, looks like you’re not paying attention. Want to come back and join us?’ You don’t want to call people out in a negative manner, but you have that control to be able to have that little side conversation and say, ‘Hey, come on back to the group. Let’s work together. Let’s stay focused’,” says Becky.

“We really appreciate Class’s willingness and availability to work with us every step of the way. We’ve never felt abandoned or confused. If we had a question, they answered it immediately. The staff’s been remarkably helpful, insightful, and transparent, and we feel incredibly valued in our partnership with Class because of that,” notes Becky.

The ResultEnabling better virtual education for students and educators alike

By adding Class to their already-successful eAcademy program, Westmoreland developed a better online learning experience for students, educators, and administrators. Choosing a flexible solution like Class empowered Westmoreland to deliver personalized learning in synchronous, asynchronous, and blended formats—enabling learners to choose their preferred modality.

“Virtual education is going to become a large component of education as we move into the future,” emphasizes Becky. “I firmly believe that discussions around school choice are not just going to be limited to where you attend school, but how you consume instruction and how you learn. So instead of just deciding what district I want to be in or what building I want to be in, it’s, ‘How do I want to learn this content? Do I want to be face-to-face? Do I want to be online? Or do I want a blended combination of both?’. The advice that I would give is to make sure that you are building an entire system that empowers your educators, your administrators, and your students to make that choice. And I think Class does just that for us.”

With Class, WIU7 is:

Empowering students in their own education

“Class gives students more control over their learning environment. They feel that sense of calm and comfort and are able to focus and interact with their peers. They are able to talk to their teacher anonymously if they want to instead of saying something to the entire group. They’re able to interact at their own level. They can step into this at their comfort level. So they feel empowered to continue to grow socially, emotionally, and academically,” shares Becky.

Encouraging educators to upskill

“Our teachers are empowered to really focus on honing their instructional skills in a virtual learning environment. This is not something that the vast majority of teachers across the country really were comfortable doing until the pandemic hit. And there’s an expectation now that we really master the art of instruction in an online space. Class gives us the ability to do that because we have less of that stress and worry about where we’re going to find our resources or how we’re going to prepare for our instruction,” boasts Becky.

Increasing admin visibility into progress

“Everything is right there in Class. And for administrators, the insight that comes within the system of being able to look at the user analytics, being able to see attendance, being able to make sure that students are engaged. It’s all right there. We don’t have to have that fear that maybe online learning isn’t going to work with younger students because they’re not going to stay engaged or they’re going to have a hard time navigating the system. It’s all in one place. Class gives us everything that we need at all levels,” says Becky.

Ready to see what Class can do for your organization?

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