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How Compassion Institute is Changing the Way Digital Learning Environments are Used
This blog post was shared by Engagez, the platform that Compassion Institute uses for delivery of its public-facing and sector-level offerings. The post shares a Use Case Study that Engagez collected about their work with CI. We are very thankful for all the support we have received from Engagez in delivering compassion-based training to our partners. The original post can be found here.
Use Case Study
Compassion Institute is a nonprofit that advocates for compassion-based educational programs and training. Founded in 2017, Compassion Institute uses the industry’s latest findings on psychology, neurology, and contemplative science to formulate teachings and classes that help individuals cultivate compassion as a daily practice and manage the stress of the modern world. Like many other educational programs and universities, the impact of COVID-19 led the institute to further develop their existing online classes and create a space where educational learning could continue virtually.
Prior to adopting the Engagez platform, most of their classes were held in person and were not adapted for an online space; however, they quickly realized that their classes could provide a greater impact for a larger audience if they moved these courses online. When searching for an online solution, they knew that they did not want just a learning solution, but a social solution as well. A key part of their courses’ success was the community that students found throughout the duration of the class and after the class had ended. A platform with the ability to provide social interactions was necessary in order for Compassion Institute to continue providing a community where like-minded people could come together, share ideas, and collaborate.
The Proposed Solution
When Compassion Institute met with Engagez, they outlined the problem they faced and their desired solution. They approached Engagez with a clear goal in mind: to provide an interactive space for students and teachers to learn and grow together. In their research and past courses, they have found that a new generation of teachers are looking for environments that are much more interactive and engaging. What they needed was a platform that was able to combine the elements of a classroom with an event atmosphere, creating what they called an event-based educational environment.
Upon demoing the platform, they immediately noticed that they could use the collaborative concepts that Engagez offers to build out a classroom setting that was mature and professional as well as augmented with a community and event feel. Engagez’s ability to carefully maneuver and create an event-based educational environment is what ultimately solidified their trust in the platform.
With an event-based educational environment, the needs and the setup of the platform are much different than a traditional virtual event venue. In place of exhibit halls and exhibitor booths. They utilized Engagez’s multi-function hall settings to create collaboration rooms. These collaboration rooms then became the basis on which the individual classrooms for each course were built.
Additionally, they wanted to set up their menu bar to reflect the needs of an educational community. Within their menu, they created a tab called My Courses. Students would only see and have access to courses that they have paid for. This was done by requiring prospective students to sign-up and register for specific courses and then grant them access to the corresponding courses on the platform. Admins on the platform, however, can see all the courses listed and view the class information.
With a perpetual community being one of their main attractions to their courses, Compassion Institute created a community lounge where students (both past and present) could interact with and engage other students and teachers. They offered these community-oriented locations as a value add to their programs as students would always have access to these lounges even after the course had finished.
In terms of the courses themselves, they offer a variety of formats of single or multi-week instructor-led live class sessions often with assignments and group discussion in between the live programs. Each course had its own page that displayed class participants, listed resources and handouts, and a discussion board for people to participate in. All of the live classes were then launched from the platform via Zoom. Some hybrid live and asynchronous courses are also launched via Zoom from the platform.
One of the other features of the platform they took advantage of was the Email Confirmation section. Once a student had registered for a course, they were immediately sent a customized email with details on how to login, when the class starts, details on the course, and an active calendar that details the 8 weeks of the class so that they can plan out their schedules.
Lastly, admins and faculty were granted access to each course’s individual analytics where they could determine if a student has attended all the classes, viewed documents, submitted assignments, and see if they asked any questions.
Compassion Institute has become a long-term client of Engagez with multiple venues hosting multiple concurrent online courses on an ongoing basis. They boast a conversion rate of 76% (compared to the industry standard of 65%) and an engagement rate of 81%.
Prior to implementing Engagez, they found most educational tools to be extremely rigid in terms of customization and level of interaction. With Engagez, they have found a way to create courses where participating in class feels more like an event experience, one that is conceptually engaging and focused on a community atmosphere.