User Stories | June 20, 2016

Students Benefit from Personalization

With a diverse body of students and equally varied amounts of subject knowledge, college-level courses are inherently challenging to teach as well as to learn. To aid in this process, the use of digital tools provides a new path of delivering course content to students that enables them to digest the material at their own pace.

Christopher Harrison, an associate professor at San Diego State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, frequently incorporates video recording tools into his 500-student general chemistry class, as well as his smaller, 80-student analytical chemistry course. In both courses, the lecture is a key component to the course, and the need for students to effectively—and comprehensively—learn the material is paramount. He frequently experimented with a number of tools that recorded and delivered his lectures to his students for post-lecture review, with varying degrees of success, so when he came across a story about Swivl, the benefits of the tool were immediately evident to him.

New Technologies and Lecture Capture with Chris Harrison from Polly Card on Vimeo.

Swivl is an automated video capture robot with a suite of online tools that enable educators and students to use video to develop their skills. Thousands of schools around the world are turning to Swivl to make regular use of video a seamless practice in their classrooms, while engaging both teachers and students. “I feel that Swivl provides a seamless means of incorporating video recordings into a live lecture setting. There is little effort that is needed to get the system going, and coordinating slide transitions on a laptop or iPad with Swivl becomes second nature within a couple of lectures,” says Professor Harrison.

Improved Lecture Capture

The first problem that the Swivl solved was the issue of hosting lecture videos. Swivl Cloud offered Professor Harrison a streamlined and secure means by which his students could access and review these videos. The Swivl Robot and wireless microphone (marker) also helped improve the audio quality of Professor Harrison’s recordings. The audio quality was consistent even when he was facing away from his phone or standing up to 30 feet from the Swivl base.

“The feature that impresses me the most about Swivl is the synchronized slides and video. It provides an excellent way for the students to see all the important details. And the ability to search the video by the slides is a brilliant design feature that makes even long videos easily navigable,” said Professor Harrison. The feature enabled him to record a lecture synchronized with presentation slides; since slides and video were side-by-side, these presentations could be captured and augmented in front of a whiteboard or in a lab-setting where concepts or questions could be explored in a dynamic fashion.

Benefits to Students

Swivl provided students with a tool to review exactly what Professor Harrison said in any given lecture. Students were quick to appreciate the convenience of Swivl, using the recordings to prepare for quizzes and exams and covering missed lectures. Additionally, for ESL students, the recordings provided a means by which they could review lecture presentations word-for-word. From Professor Harrison’s perspective, these lecture recordings gave his students a crucial tool for keeping up with course material.

Additionally, when Professor Harrison was unable to give his normal lecture due to conference travel, he used Swivl to pre-record his lectures in a flipped classroom style, thus ensuring that his students had a consistent instruction style—with slides, video, and all—throughout the semester.

All in all, Swivl proved to be an effective, streamlined tool for recording and uploading lectures to help students stay on top of the course material and learn at their own pace.

Educator Success with Swivl

This is just one of the ways Swivl’s technology is being put to use in over 20,000 schools across the globe. Let our Educator Success representative tell you how Swivl can help you reach your goals and transform your classroom using video. You might even qualify for a free 30-day demo robot, just ask!