Connected Classroom

Connected Classroom

Bringing on-campus and off-campus students together

The Subject is:

PSY307 – Cognition (Rhonda Shaw, Senior Lecturer in School of Psychology). This subject examines the topics of visual perception, attention, face recognition, memory, imagery, reasoning, problem-solving, and neuro-cognition. PSY307 is a core component of the Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology).

The students will learn:

Students study cognitive research concepts and examine the application of cognitive psychology. Collaborative learning approaches are used to tackle challenging concepts with guidance from the lecturer.

This is what it looks like:

The lecturer brings together on-campus and off-campus student cohorts using a Connected Classroom pedagogical approach. This enables the combined student cohort to tackle concepts, issues/debates in the area of cognitive research and brings students together as one class rather than separate classes. This provides opportunities for students to feel as though they were one community of learners by sharing in, and learning, the same topics. Student sentiments of “I really struggle as [a] distance student” and “not being able to bounce off ideas [with other students]”, highlighted the isolation distance students face. An Adobe Connect classroom is set up for off-campus students at the same time as the on-campus classroom. The on-campus classroom runs as normal with the delivery of the lecture presentations, however at the same time via the use of Adobe Connect off-campus students can also log in to participate in the class. The wireless microphone picks up the lecturers’ voice so all students can hear, and the Adobe Connect session recording is activated. Questions from the on-campus students can be repeated by the lecturer so that off-campus students can hear, conversely, the off-campus students can ask questions by typing in the chat box (see diagram 1). The lecturer would answer the questions as normal.
Diagram 1 – Using Adobe Connect to teaching for on-campus and off-campus class. Off-campus students ask a question via the chat box, on-campus students can see via the projector.

The effect of learning this way:

Student feedback relating to their Connected Classroom experience was nicely summed up as “I think it will be extremely useful for me being able to tune in each week", and  "I benefit from being in a classroom setting and this is the next best thing.”
  1. Caters for distance learning – for example, students can learn from anywhere, for instance, this session included a student logging on from Singapore.
  2. Fosters a community of learners – brings together a group to interact in real time.
  3. Encourages peer to teacher/peer interaction.
  4. Combines on-campus and off-campus cohorts – a way to consolidate as one learning group.
  5. Flexible learning – recorded for students who couldn't attend.

How can this be applied to other classes/student cohort?

This type of classroom setup can be applied to any teaching where there is a diverse cohort from different locations (on-campus and off-campus students). Steps to setting up an Adobe Connect classroom. Things to remember:
  1. Remember to repeat the internal questions for off-campus students
  2. Check to make sure the browser has Flash plugin, don’t leave this until just before presenting – check before the session starts
  3. Press record
  4. Remind classroom students “I have students linking in remotely and I need to make sure I include them in class discussions and activities”
  5. When changing the document to sharing screen mode, remember to press Mic/Camera on again
  6. Class time can take longer because of the pause and repeat of questions.