ASU+GSV Summit 2021: ClassIn Presents Effective Online Education Methods

On the second day of the ASU+GSV Summit 2021, following an in-depth panel discussion on the concept and long-term implementation of Online-Merge-Offline (OMO) learning, ClassIn shifts its focus to what’s central to education – pedagogies. Yuchen Shi, the invited speaker and Associate Professor of East China Normal University, led the sponsored session to explore the topic of “Effective Online Education Method”.


ClassIn Virtual Session at ASU+GSV Summit 2021 on August 10th from 4:15 pm to 4:55 pm (PST)
ClassIn Virtual Session at ASU+GSV Summit 2021 on August 10th from 4:15 pm to 4:55 pm (PST)

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of online learning, which exhibited great potential to enhance the accessibility, scalability, continuity and equity of education resources. However, not all teachers are equipped with the right pedagogy, mindset or skills to conduct online or hybrid teaching. With extensive research experiences in cognitive development and curriculum design, Professor Shi shared how to effectively deliver online lessons.


Developments and Challenges of Pre-recorded Lessons


A few years ago, the United States has entered the era of online education that predominantly requires students to watch pre-recorded lessons at their own pace. Among these models, one of the most successful pedagogical models was MOOC, which has pushed online education to a new peak. Admittedly, there are many advantages associated with these online teaching models that use pre-recorded lessons. They’re accessible, affordable, and flexible, gaining particularly strong momentum in the past few years.



Prof. Shi discussing why MOOC doesn't produce satisfying learning results
Prof. Shi discussing why MOOC doesn't produce satisfying learning results

However, research showed that there are fundamental deficiencies with MOOC and other online education resources. “For example, the completion rate is quite low. A lot of research show that the completion rate can be as low as 6%,” Professor Shi explained. “Now we have a very paradoxical situation in which students often start off the lessons with a high level of passion and engagement, but many of them failed to follow through. So, this unsatisfactory result made us question what happened and why.”


Based on the studies of Sweller (2011) and Pintrich (1995), Professor Shi summarized cognitive and noncognitive factors that might contribute to the low completion rate of pre-recorded lessons. The former includes cognitive overload, the lack of interaction and real-time feedback, whereas the latter includes the lack of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, engagement, as well as self-regulated learning.


Success Factors of Online Education


Prof. Shi linked those constraints to Self-Determination Theory, a classic model in educational psychology proposed by Ryan and Deci in 2000. In the theory, three factors, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, are identified as fundamental psychological needs for individuals to perform well in any kind of task.


“Students are definitely autonomous when they are watching pre-recorded lessons because they can choose when and where they want to study. But they might not feel competent for they’re not getting enough feedback from their teachers or from their peers. They don’t feel related to others because they’re isolated in their own setting. Students are not self-determined when they’re learning from online platforms that use pre-recorded lessons,” Prof. Shi explained.


Prof. Shi introducing online education methods
Prof. Shi introducing online education methods

She then segued into Online Live Instruction, which shares the accessibility, affordability and flexibility of pre-recorded lessons. In addition, the teaching approach affords timely interaction and feedback. Teachers can now monitor and regulate their students’ progress to provide help or scaffolding. And students are now interacting with human beings who can provide real-time feedback.


“This relates to the socio-cultural theory, which argues that all the human learning initially took place at a social level. When students are engaged in this sort of live teaching, they are engaged in a sort of social learning, which will benefit their individual thinking later on,” she added.


"When students are engaged in this sort of live teaching, they are engaged in a sort of social learning, which will benefit their individual thinking later on," -- Yuchen Shi, Associate Professor of East China Normal University

Conducting Live Instruction Effectively to Enhance Learning Outcomes


Live streaming platforms and hardware facilities support online live instruction, but to achieve better teaching results, teachers must be equipped with corresponding methods. Although there are overlaps between online teaching and in-person teaching, the two differ in terms of mindset as well as the skillset that teachers need to possess.


According to Prof. Shi, teachers must first have a student-centric mindset to design activities that will help students engage and re-engage. The second is that the teachers need to create a safe and democratic classroom – “safe” means that students feel comfortable to participate even when they don’t have the correct answers, while “democratic” refers to that students have an equal chance to participate and that teachers give the same amount of attention to all students. During online lessons, teachers should be vigilant to students’ limited attention span and to design activities that help reengage students when they are distracted.


Prof. Shi demonstrating ClassIn functions
Prof. Shi demonstrating ClassIn functions

With the aid of ClassIn’s versatile teaching tools, Prof. Shi then moved to demonstrate the practical skillset for teachers. “Lesson preparation is certainly very important in the teaching process. Teachers can prepare their lesson materials ahead of time. They can also highlight certain parts that they want to grab students’ attention. On ClassIn, teachers can save, share and later retrieve these materials, which is very important because teachers can iterate their lesson plan, keep improving it, and students can also access these lesson plans at any time,” Shi highlighted.


"On ClassIn, teachers can save, share and later retrieve these materials, which is very important because teachers can iterate their lesson plan, keep improving it, and students can also access these lesson plans at any time," -- Yuchen Shi, Associate Professor of East China Normal University

She also demonstrated features such as freeform drawing, breakout rooms, and multiple-choice questions. Interactive functions on ClassIn will be of great assistance to teachers when it comes to motivating students and boosting interactivity, which in turn improves the effectiveness of online live instruction to be on par with that of traditional classroom teaching.



Related Resources


ASU+GSV Summit 2021: ClassIn Introduces OMO Learning for Education Continuity and Equity: https://www.blog.classin.com/post/asu-gsv-summit-2021-classin-introduces-omo-learning

About ClassIn: https://www.classin.com/en/

Read More: Virtual Learning Calls for Education-Specific Technologies


*ClassIn is a leading edtech company that provides a one-stop solution for digital learning.


ClassIn software enables interactive classrooms, in-school social app, lesson scheduling, homework management, and school management dashboard, which start free and scale up to meet our customers' needs at any stage of teaching. Today, thousands of schools and institutions around the world benefit from ClassIn's powerful and easy-to-use tools to teach online and offline.