We hear about “Online classrooms” all the time, especially since the pandemic. Can you tell us what makes Hyper Class standout, and why it took a company like ours to build it?
Tim: The model for the traditional online classrooms was built on top of tools for online conferencing, but this environment was never honed for education. As a result, they provide a very generic experience where a teacher is limited to lecturing students through a linear lesson presentation.
To me it just conjures images of the Victorian classrooms of the past – a grid of expressionless faces – sitting still, eyes forwards, just listening to the teacher.
We know that the modern classroom is not like this. It has become a very dynamic environment, built for collaboration, where students have the tools and agency to provide their own solutions to challenges, with the teachers acting as the enabler and guide.
This is exactly the type of learning environment we have built with Hyper Class.
William: We adopted a holistic approach that addressed the learning environment including the technology, the pedagogy, and the content. Each component is highly integrated, and you really need to think about how a change in the technology impacts the pedagogy, for example, and vice versa.
It’s also worth pointing out that EF has the technical capabilities and know-how, combined with the design talent and instructional leadership – together with 1000s of teachers and students.
Hyper Class combines virtual environments and interactive content with a “new learning design model”. Can you tell us more about that model?
Will: We adopted several design principles for learning, again based on that idea of an integrated “technology-content-pedagogy” model. We wanted the teacher to have as much control over the interaction as possible so they could best identify and respond to learner needs. The real value of a private lesson ultimately is being able to address specific needs so this was a guiding principle. Another concept we wanted to address was the ability for students to attempt authentic task types almost as a rehearsal, get feedback from their teacher, and then be able to try again while applying the advice they had received. Feedback on learning is such an important part of the teacher’s role in supporting learning and yet often, it isn’t well understood by the student. In this design, students can actively work through the feedback with their teacher together, which should lead to better understanding and skill development.