Back to basics

To encourage video adoption we need to go back to the beginning, says Justin Beck, Vice President of Education at Kaltura

It should be no surprise that continued adoption of multimedia and video elements to the student learning experience is growing aggressively across the education spectrum. It is well documented that the pull for more video from students derives from their online preferences outside the classroom.

Recent reports show an 800% growth in videos being watched over the last 6 years with 83% of internet users consuming video online. The now famous ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ for ALS is one example of virtually millions of individuals putting themselves online in video form as a more expressive and personal response to a great cause/social movement.

In our daily interactions with higher education institutions and schools, there is little disagreement that students crave more multimedia as part of their learning process. The challenge lies in the fact that in many cases faculty comfort level and adoption of these key learning resources is still in its infancy. 

We recently undertook and published the results of our global survey entitled the “The State of Video in Education”. We found that close to 50% of educators feel that there are insufficient tools to support the most basic creation of video resources. If the ICE Bucket Challenge has shown us anything, outside its powerful fundraising power, it’s that video can and should be accessible for anyone who wants to create. 

Perhaps the challenge is in convincing educators and instructional designers that the perceived complexity of focusing on the high-end use case (near-professional video production) should not deter faculty from taking that first step. 

There has to be an easier and more accessible way to support educators and students in their most basic desire to create good video assets and responses. 

A large community college we work with follows the KISS principle “Keep it Simple Stupid” by distilling the majority of the media use cases and recommendations to a core set of guiding advice for faculty, which can be summed up as follows:

  1. Utilise the tools you have at your finger tips – your built in webcam, your iphone/Android device or, if you are slightly more advanced, an external HD camera (not required).
  2. Be yourself – allow your personality to come through just as if you were in a live class setting.
  3. Prepare before you film, but don’t be overly scripted – students want there to be a personal connection and a human element to your session.
  4. Encourage user-generated (i.e. student) content, which offers a great way to mix up assignments.
  5. Use the built-in video tools in the learning management system (LMS) which, at the click of a button, allow the faculty (or student) to record a webcam, screen capture, or both. 

For these very practical reasons, technology providers are focused on making video simpler, more accessible and more tightly woven into the existing teacher and student workflow. Instead of having to learn a new set of tools or log into another platform, video resources are increasingly accessible from within your LMS, blending into the background as just another toolkit in the engagement arsenal.

In addition, YouTube-like portals are now available for campuses and schools and can harness all of an institution’s media assets in a central repository, thus removing the multimedia silos that have made video storage, discovery and access so painful in the past. 

Getting started with video in the classroom does not need to be difficult. By starting small and encouraging video creation and sharing through the use of familiar software such as the LMS and devices (e.g. iPhones/Android phones), educational institutions can make a smooth transition to a future that embraces video.

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