Professor Bob van den Brand of the Tilburg School of Economics and Management simply wants students to pay attention. It may seem small, but the impact is great. Engaged students get better grades, increasing their pass rates. More students passing means fewer drop out, and high-achieving students allow professors more time to focus on teaching. But how do you capture the attention of, as he calls it, the YouTube Generation?
Seeking to modernize his curriculum and delivery for successful student outcomes, van den Brand created the iSTAR Learning Project, an integrative lecture-capture program that uses Mediasite.
The program blends e-learning and starts with short studio-recorded lecture blocks that dive into the learning material with case studies and self-guided student exercises. Students receive bonus points for taking practice tests and can check their answers.
“We explain theoretical concepts to students in an attractive way,” van den Brand said. “We use examples they see in real life; we use supermarkets, sports and luxury products to connect to students in a maximum of 10 minutes.”
The iSTAR program increased the pass rate among second-year accounting students from 58 percent to 79 percent within four years, and student satisfaction ratings went through the roof. The success rate for the bachelor Business Controls course also increased from 57 percent to 84 percent.
“By offering iSTAR in many different forms and ways, studying becomes attractive again, even for courses like accounting,” van den Brand said. “With Mediasite, we’re able to make lectures time-and-place independent and offer mixed learning routes online, which has improved the performances of both students and professors.”
With its success, the university implemented iSTAR at schools at Tilburg, including Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and International Business Administration, and recordings are offered in multiple languages.