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Echo360 Best Practices and Guidelines

Echo360 is the lecture-capture system that is used by the College of Medicine. We use it to create placeholders for upcoming live activities (e.g., lectures, core cases, flipped classroom) and to upload previously created video tutorial content, typically created by faculty to be used by students as prep work for an active learning session. Coordinators at each campus typically work in concert with their educational technology / classroom technology experts to ensure sessions in classrooms and auditoria are recorded properly. Students are informed that it could take up to 48 hours for a recording to show up in Echo360, however, 99.9% of the time it's within a couple hours. It can depend what time of day the live session to be recorded took place as the college of medicine is not the only user of this service.

It is used much more regularly in Phase 1 than in Phase 2.

Organizing Content in Echo360 Heading link

Echo360 Structure

Phase 1

Depending on the campus, either information resources or the project managers set up the structure of Echo360 for each block course in each academic year. An example of the naming structure for each block course:

Block 1 – [Campus] – F22 Body Systems and Homeostasis I

For each block course in Phase 1 such as the one named above, project managers or local coordinators add a class group (similar to a folder) for each week of instruction. It is a best practice to include the dates of each week within the class group like in the image.

A class group is similar to a folder and within it are each class recording from that week. It’s helpful to add dates to the class group as well as class recordings as doing this will help keep them in date-arranged order.

Within each weekly class group (folder), local coordinators (or project managers) create ‘placeholders’ for each activity for the week. Some of these placeholders are for upcoming live activities and others are for pre-recorded content created by faculty. These placeholders generally include the name of the activity. There are different procedures for publishing content from one class year to another vs setting up a schedule for future recordings. Work with your campus project manager to better understand this process.

Phase 2

For Phase 2, a similar structure is set up though each class group is just the name of the clerkship. As there are not remotely as many recordings to deal with in Phase 2, this structure works well.

While there is an LTI (learning tools interoperability) connection within Blackboard to connect Echo360 with it, we have migrated to creating access links instead. We have had some difficulties with the LTI format – the connection seems to break more often than we’d like.

Project managers or local coordinators can create an access link. In fact, anyone with the role of instructor in Echo360 can do it. Go to the course / section. Click on Settings > Access Links > Add Link. Create a private link. Copy the URL and you can now link to it in Blackboard.

Note: this process will automatically enroll everyone who clicks on the link in Blackboard as a ‘student’ in Echo360. The former process of using the LTI connection could distinguish if a person had an instructor role in Blackboard and add them as an instructor to Echo360. If a faculty member clicked on the link and it added them to the Echo360 section as a student, with a little maneuvering, it is possible to correct it so they are included as an instructor. In the end, for most faculty members, the differing roles in Echo360 really doesn’t matter so much.

Accessing and Interpreting Analytics in Echo360 Heading link

Anyone who has the ‘instructor’ role for courses in Echo360 can see analytics (e.g., video views, etc.). To access these data, click on the Analytics tab on top.

Screenshot of Echo360 analytics page.

In this screenshot:

  1. Choose either Classes or Students. If you choose Classes, the results will show a bar chart of views (and other data).
  2. Sort the columns alphabetically by clicking on the header.
    1. Note: if you click on the name of any video in a row, you will be presented with students who watched (or did not watch) that video.
  3. The column we most focus on is Video Views. This is how Echo360 describes these metrics:
    1. If viewing the Classes tab, this is the total number of times the video in the class was viewed by students in the section.
    2. If viewing the Students tab, this is the number of times each listed student viewed videos in the section, either for all classes or for a particular class if viewing student details or the export.
  4. Export the entire data set to create tables and bar charts. Be mindful if you download data as it will sometimes include student names.

If the Students tab on the left is selected, the results are presented with student names first. Clicking on a student name will show a list of videos in the block course and whether the student watched them or not.