Aarhus Tech uses video conferencing to prevent dropouts


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Leslie Ahern, itslearning

Aarhus Tech educates over 4,000 students a year. Its course offerings include International Baccalaureate studies, vocational training, technical secondary education, and adult and continuing education.

A manual for successful LMS use

Before 2019, Aarhus Tech was using many different digital learning tools. To simplify their digital workflow, the school chose to implement the itslearning LMS (Learning Management System). Now all teaching and communication is done through itslearning.

Torben Ravnsmed Hamburg, Aarhus Tech

Torben Ravnsmed Hamburg, teacher and IT/Curriculum Manager at Aarhus Tech, has plenty of experience implementing technological tools and says it is important to get buy-in from teachers. ‘Presenting teachers with a lot of new information at once can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial to explain to them that transitioning to a new learning platform is huge, but it’s worth it because it gives us a better overview and saves us time in the long run.’

Torben wrote an itslearning manual for the school and trains colleagues how to take advantage of the platform’s many features to simply their daily tasks. For example, he advises creating courses using the itslearning Plans tool. Resources and activities can be added to Plans and fellow teachers can easily adapt them. ‘It’s great that courses can be shared with colleagues and other teams.’

Torben appreciates the fact that the platform offers Learning Paths. ‘It’s a great way to guide students through material.’ His language-teaching colleagues are thankful that students can submit audio and video files as answers to itslearning assignments. They often use this feature in oral exams.

Master templates simplify workflow

David Brandstrup Østergaard is Head of Year 10 Education at Aarhus Tech. He helped implement itslearning and reports, ‘The new workflow makes sense and offers great possibilities.’ Curriculum teams at the school use itslearning master course templates to ensure that the learning objectives set by the Danish Department of Education are met. The templates are created using the Plans tool and are automatically applied to digital courses.

David explains, ‘Teachers must keep these templates in their courses – as a great deal of work goes into ensuring that all learning objectives are met – but they are free to add extra material.’ He sees that teachers take more ownership of their teaching when they can add material of their choice to their courses. It is clear to David that itslearning was built with teaching in mind.

“The pedagogical structure behind the itslearning platform encourages greater ownership of teaching.”

David Brandstrup Østergaard, Head of Year 10 Education, Aarhus Tech

At the end of each semester, curriculum teams meet to reevaluate course material. The changes they make to the master templates are automatically applied to all the digital courses in which they appear.

Remote learning during the pandemic

The first coronavirus lockdown in Denmark lasted from March to May 2020. The government is only just easing the second lockdown which was put in place before Christmas. During the lockdowns, all vocational classes at Aarhus Tech were carried out online.

Educational IT Consultant, Søren Berg says, ‘itslearning is not only used for online learning. It is also the main communication channel between Aarhus Tech and our students. It is very important for us to have daily contact with students.’

“Having itslearning put us in a much better position for online learning. Thanks to the platform, teachers didn’t have to start from scratch.”

Søren Berg, Educational IT Consultant, Aarhus Tech

‘Both teachers and students have increased their use of itslearning. There are now plans for all classes to switch to online learning. Teachers will increase the use of video instruction and our students will use video to document their learning as a supplement to more traditional written assignments. Video conferencing has been important to ensuring learning success during this difficult period for teachers and students. Without the use of video conferences, many of our students would have dropped out.’

itslearning has live conferencing integrations with both Google Meet and MS Teams. Here are 7 easy steps to engage students during live video classes. Here are additional tips for preventing dropouts.

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