Teachers basically make or break your learning experience. We’ve probably all had great ones and terrible ones and can understand how significantly the best ones can make complex subject easier to understand.
With so much content to learn in such a short period of time, having a very organised, connected teacher is also critical to the whole class succeeding.
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has an amazing lecturer, Dr. David Kellerman, in the school of engineering.
Kellerman recently presented his strategies and successes using Microsoft Teams, to a worldwide audience of 40,000 during Microsoft’s Inspire 2019 partner event.
Teams is a massive success for Microsoft and when you hear about great use cases like this, its easy to see why it’s servicing the modern needs of business and education.
Kellerman transformed the classroom and learning experience by creating a Teams channel for each week of the course. With classes of more than 500 students, it was important to change the regular class delivery to a more modern, collaborative experience.
I don’t advise this in your business, but Kellerman says he decided to switch the course from YouTube videos to Teams by simply sending an invite email to all students. They started logging in and download the app immediately, no change management required. Clearly this won’t be possible with all Teams experiences, but does speak to how intuitive the service is.
Microsoft would be hard pressed to find someone who’s more ‘all-in’ on Microsoft’s suite of products than Kellerman. He took a completely digital approach, forget scanning and printing, he used OneNote with Ink to explain course material. This was integrated into the Teams Channel with a ‘Class Notebook’ tab.
He also stopped publishing course content on YouTube, instead moving them to Stream, another Microsoft service you get as part of Office 365.
UNSW use the open-source Moodle LMS and by leveraging the API, pulled the course material, quizzes etc into another tab in Teams.
With any group of students you naturally get questions. With this many students, the time required to answer each question was overwhelming. Naturally Kellerman looked for a technology solution. With access to the right resources, Kellerman implemented QBot, an AI created by Antares (a Cloud Collective partner), that integrated into Teams.
QBot would lookup the student’s specific tutor and tagged them into the Teams chat, to ensure no question went unanswered. As each question was answered, it was shared with the channel to avoid duplicate questions.
With over 200 questions answered within the first two weeks of being live, it was not long until QBot’s AI was capable of gathering the data it needed to answer questions without the tutor becoming involved at all.
Now here’s the really neat technology. QBot can even point students to a time stamped video link of lectures that were captured live on Stream to help them find the answers they need.
The solution was developed in 8 weeks saving time this year and for many years to come and allowing the class to scale. After the solution and stats was explained to the huge crowd, they were rightly met with a big applause.