We love when technology makes an impact on people’s lives—it’s really at the core of why we’re here! When we received word that an instructor used Office Mix to conduct a full week’s worth of blended classroom lectures so he could miss class to be with his wife and newborn daughter, we knew we had to share his heartwarming story.
This story has a great ending but let’s start at the beginning. With class starting September 30th, Justin Harbin, an instructional designer at Lancaster Bible College was under a lot of pressure knowing his daughter could be born on that day, the next day or the day after. It was going to be a hectic week and Harbin was set to be out of class during a very critical time. He used Office Mix to create a full week’s worth of blended classroom lectures, while he missed class to be with his wife and newborn daughter. That’s life balance we can all appreciate!
Harbin’s lectures were the start of an accelerated undergrad program conducted over six weeks. It included four one-hour classes five days a week. As such, there would be no room for time off and no way to bump the course schedule last-minute.
Harbin had a lot of content, but had to deliver it online in an engaging way that would drive discussion among the students while he was out of class. Plus, it had to be easily uploaded to the school’s learning management system (LMS), Schoology.
With one week to go before class started, Harbin turned to Office Mix, which enabled him to create five mini, interactive lectures. He added annotations, videos, narration, quizzes and recaps—all the good stuff teachers need to help them better evaluate students. Harbin then coupled his online class with discussion boards on the school’s LMS.
Harbin’s approach was a success! He was able to teach his class, while also taking the time off to be with his wife and witness the birth of their daughter.
The following Tuesday, Harbin met with students. “I was overwhelmed by how well it worked. Students grasped core concepts and interacted to a level where there was a lot of critical thinking, discussions were deep. It went far beyond the traditional audio and PowerPoint presentations we were used to,” said Harbin.
He now uses Office Mix regularly to embed assignments, walkthroughs, and expectations into the syllabus for easy reference by students.
From an instructor perspective, Harbin says, “Office Mix drives the interaction and engagement across student, content, and instructor, which is at the core of any blended classroom. It works extremely well when you have a vast amount of content to cover.”
We tend to agree and couldn’t be more proud. We bet his family feels the same!