DULLES, VA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) -  Echo360 (www.echo360.com), the recognized leader in campus-wide solutions that enable universities to record, manage and share rich media course content for lecture capture and distance learning, today announced that Loughborough University, McMaster University, the University of Sussex and the University of Texas at Austin have each been awarded $10,000 from its annual Research Grants Program. Now in its second year, the Echo360 Research Grants Program, www.echo360.com/grantsprogram, is the only international research program that provides financial support for institutions to quantify the educational uses and benefits of lecture capture technology.

"In higher education, lecture capture is evolving into a critical tool for responding to different student learning styles," said Dr. James Henson, Associate Director, College of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services at the University of Texas at Austin. "Initiatives like the Echo360 Grants Program help the academic community to conduct research on lecture capture's applications, and we look forward to sharing our findings with the academic community at-large."

"Echo360 is committed to expanding the global body of knowledge surrounding the role that lecture capture plays in academia and, most importantly, to sharing this knowledge across our entire community of users," said Jocasta Williams, Echo360 community manager. "The projects that this year's grant recipients are pursuing will provide valuable research and will encourage the sharing of best practices."

Open to teaching staff and administrators of current Echo360 institutions worldwide, the topics covered by this year's grantees reflect Echo360's growing influence on traditional pedagogy and higher education's increasing reliance on lecture capture as a vital component of instructional design:

  • Loughborough University will explore the contribution of lecture capture to the development of distance learning courses and how lecture capture can impact the level of engagement experienced in this mode of content delivery. Loughborough University's study, "Through the Glass Darkly? Using Lecture Captures As a Vehicle for Curriculum Innovation for Distance Learning Students," will examine the institutional, departmental and curriculum barriers that may be encountered in introducing this type of innovation; the effect on how students approach studying; and the positive and negative factors influencing the distance learning experience.
  • Through a study titled "Echo360: An Effective Tool for Universal Instructional Design?", McMaster University will investigate how the use of Echo360 aligns with new accessibility legislation standards in Ontario, Canada. McMaster University will uncover the perceptions and experiences of faculty members, students and, in particular, students with disabilities using Echo360 technologies; how faculty members and all students use Echo360; and how the utilization of Echo360 conforms to Canada's new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
  • In a project by the University of Sussex titled "Me2U: Exploring the Effective Use of Echo360 Personal Capture" researchers will work with faculty to explore how Echo360 personal capture software can be used to create recordings that support student learning in innovative ways outside of a fixed lecture room location. Researchers will also evaluate the extent to which students find the recordings beneficial; measure the level and nature of support required by staff to create these recordings; and create practice guides on the most effective approaches to making these recordings.
  • The University of Texas at Austin will study the impact of lecture capture on students' learning, and on course and instructor satisfaction, as well as explore innovative uses of lecture capture to re-design traditional classroom activities in large enrollment lecture courses. "Lecture Capturing to Transform Student Learning Opportunities in Large Classes" will identify the types of courses that can benefit most from lecture capture; how students' uses of the recorded lectures lead to positive learning outcomes; and how faculty can use non-traditional applications of lecture capture to transform classroom instructional activities and improve students' success rates.

More information on the Echo360 Research Grants Program and this year's award recipients can be found at www.echo360.com/grantsprogram. Once completed, all research findings will be distributed by the universities and will also be available via Echo360's LectureCapture.com website.

About Echo360

Echo360 envisions an opportunity for every student to be freed from traditional barriers to learning with an on-demand education experience. Full-time, part-time, distance, continuing, and online all describe today's student living in a 24/7 world. On-demand media and education converge at Echo360, helping colleges and universities engage students on the students' terms with full and unbounded access to classroom-based content via multiplatform replay. Developed in partnership with the University of Western Australia, Echo360 means scalable and affordable lecture capture solutions that can provide institutions of all sizes with universal availability of lecture content. Learn more at www.echo360.com.

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