Champlain College Online and EdTech Company InSpace Announce Partnership to Set a New Standard for Asynchronous Online Learning
One of the “Most Innovative Colleges” and the company built by educators for educators are committed to co-creating collaborative and engaging learning opportunities for online learners.
When InSpace Proximity, Inc. – a groundbreaking virtual learning platform created to transform education through smart design – was first adopted by Champlain College, the platform was introduced in a pilot program for the College’s fall 2020 on-campus community based in Burlington, Vermont. In these early stages of Champlain’s partnership with InSpace, the College’s on-campus faculty, staff, and students were limited by the virtual meeting platforms available to them when Champlain moved from in-person classrooms to online instruction in March 2020. A grid of “Brady Bunch” talking heads did not provide the level of engagement students and faculty needed for effective virtual learning to take place. InSpace’s exciting disruptive technology, however, opened up collaborative and interactive tech capabilities for classes through its unique smart design that mirrors the fluid and personal nature of real classrooms.
“When we started InSpace two years ago, our mission was to take the technology out of the way and let instructors and students connect and learn virtually,” said Narine Hall, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of InSpace. “The most innovative and forward-thinking institutions are seeking differentiated and effective video collaboration and learning partners like InSpace as a competitive advantage for their online courses.”
Since InSpace was first introduced to and adopted by Champlain in 2020, it has piqued the interest of the College’s online community. Students enroll in 100% online programs at Champlain College Online (CCO) and, while all courses are delivered asynchronously, InSpace offers users an exciting and promising online experience for students, staff, and instructors.
“We received feedback from our students that their sense of community and having a connection to the physical campus is of the utmost importance to them,” said Vice President of Online Learning at Champlain College Online Johnna Herrick-Phelps, Ph.D. “Using InSpace, students are able to communicate in new dynamic ways, create and foster collaboration, and gain a sense of community and connection to the brick-and-mortar college.”
The opportunity to push asynchronous online learning to a new level and set a new standard for the delivery of online education has prompted CCO and Inspace to form a new partnership, which was announced today, March 31, 2022. This exciting development provides Champlain’s online community with the opportunity to increase virtual engagement and support between students, staff, and instructors.
“As I experienced InSpace for the first time, it hit me that this could be a game-changer for our online programs,” said CCO’s Assistant Dean of Business and Accounting Linda Miller, Ph.D. “This software won't just be an add-on to a learning management system, but can transform how we develop our online courses. If we stay open to the possibilities, new ways of learning will emerge!"
InSpace is designed to mimic in-person learning experiences where students can create knowledge together through teamwork and collaboration using the first of its kind agile video platform. Participants are represented in video circles that can freely move around the virtual space. When participants move near each other, they can hear one another and engage in an interactive conversation. Conversely, the proximity-based audio fades when participants move away from one another. Participants can also zoom out for a view of the entire space, which provides them with visual social cues. Whether participants want to enter private discussions or create groups in audio-isolated rooms for collaboration, InSpace brings everyone together in one virtual space with ease.
“Remember when we used to have in-person whiteboard meetings? It mimics that environment really well,” said CCO Assistant Professor Albert Orbinati, Ph.D. “I can be live in an online meeting room with my colleagues, with a document we're collaborating on front and center on the screen. Pretty great!”
InSpace is currently being used at CCO for faculty and student communication, peer collaboration, and networking. New courses are being created that reshape how online content is designed and delivered, focusing on peer collaboration and teamwork first, resulting in highly engaging learning experiences. In the next phase of the partnership, use of the platform will be expanded across all asynchronous courses and added to the academic advising process. Once complete, the full virtual campus will allow online students to experience all aspects of the Burlington, Vermont campus, including various campus buildings with event live-streaming, library spaces, staff and databases, orientations, panel discussions, wellness events, and more.
As the world of online education continues to expand, platforms like InSpace have the ability to help institutions support students more holistically and CCO is proud to be part of reshaping the future of online learning with the use of this transformative technology.
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