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Increase Student Engagement with Video: Experiences from Purdue University

Taking video from basic to cutting-edge at higher ed institutions
University Business, January 2015

In the last few years, video in education has gone from a luxury addition to a must-have item. Video-use cases went from simple lecture capture to a myriad of creative possibilities—from teacher-student collaborations, to CampusTubes, to in-video quizzes and interactive tools, and more—available anywhere, on any device. Cross-campus video deployment serves to engage students and faculty, to enhance results and to extend your institution’s reach. In this web seminar, experts shared some of the current and future trends of video in education based on an extensive survey conducted with over 500 leading educators. Attendees also learned from Purdue University’s cross-campus video case study about how to make the most of video in education, first by implementing video, and then by taking it from basic to cutting-edge.

John MacKinnon: If you read the Kaltura report “The State of Video in Education,” you will see that many universities are creating courses leveraging the internet and online learning, especially distance learning elements, and that they want students to be able to get this information anywhere, anytime, on any device. The way in which we deliver online learning is starting to completely change. What we’re finding is that distance learning—especially with the whole concept of anytime, anywhere, any device— is difficult if you have constraints. Whether the constraints are on the browsers or on the networks, with slow Wi-Fi connections, or with particular devices or applications—all of those do matter. But some of those issues are not in your control. You can’t control the internet.

Your students believe that the internet should automatically be available, and it should run seamlessly and smoothly. That’s a difficult thing to do because you have no ability to put a service-level agreement on the internet. Where Akamai comes in is that we have the capability of being able to deliver that. What makes us unique is that we have a platform of about 150,000 servers in 92 countries. That platform allows us to take original content, deliver it to the edge of the cloud, and be able to securely prevent against DDOS and other types of cyberattacks. What does that mean to a university? It means that we have the ability to deliver content in the fastest manner possible. We can put a service-level agreement on the internet, in terms of performance and availability.

We are the world’s largest content delivery network. In “The State of Video in Education” report we see that the explosive growth of online education, and the use of video specifically, is a massive trend. What we always want to keep in mind is the fact that if the end-user experience isn’t good, then what’s at the front end is irrelevant.

Michal Tsur: Last year we put out the most comprehensive survey to date about video in education. We had more than 550 people respond, representing about 300 institutions. We found that more than 70 percent of the respondents were using video in classrooms. A large portion are using video as part of studio assignments. Nearly half are using video to flip the classroom in their institution, with many more use cases such as libraries, alumni relations, live events, etc. We also found that a typical student watches about 10 education videos every month, and that usage is mostly driven by faculty rather than centrally by administration.

We found that 90 percent of the respondents said they believe that video does improve the learning experience. A big portion feels that video increases student achievement, that it increases satisfaction of the students and satisfaction of the teachers, and that it is significant in attracting the right students to the university.

Most of the respondents also felt that video will be a major part of education in the future, due to the growth in online learning in general and in new forms of instruction for learning, such as accessing through portals and the growth of MOOCs. Sixty-two percent of the respondents estimated that video from free online resources is used in at least a quarter of their classes; video created by faculty is the second most widely used form of content, with 57 percent estimating that it’s used in at least a quarter of the classes.

Seventy-two percent reported that their institution is exploring the option of for-credit courses and degrees that are completely online. Similarly, 81 percent believe that online learning will grow in acceptance. And 67 percent of the respondents believe the traditional teaching methodology will change as a result of technological advances, which is not surprising.

For us, it is extremely inspiring to get these responses and see how video is truly changing the way education is being delivered and will be delivered. As better-engaging tools are developed, it becomes easier to actually create video, manipulate video, author video, share video and consume video.

Adam Hagen: When we were doing the search that led us to Kaltura, we had some critical needs that had to be met. We knew that it had to be easy to use. If you give somebody a complicated, convoluted product, your chances for successful adoption are going to be slim to none. We also had a need for integration with multiple platforms. Primarily, it had to work with our central learning management system, which is Blackboard Learn, but also with the other systems on campus that are being used, including mobile devices. And we wanted to be able to have analytics and reporting so we could see what is going on.

We decided that we would run a pilot during the fall 2012 semester. But when I say pilot, that’s a bit of a misnomer—essentially we just enabled the video building block for Blackboard Learn, we installed the SharePoint 2010 plugin, and we turned on Kaltura MediaSpace. The idea of this pilot was that we were going to flip all the light switches on and not limit who can use it. We let people run with it.

So, what happened? Usage exploded. In the first semester, we had almost 1,300 entries played over 22,000 times. In the spring semester, the number of entries doubled, and the shared number of plays tripled. Right now we are sitting on 16TB of streaming and storage, and we’re closing in on one million views.

Why are we getting all of this use? Our faculty and our staff have found creative ways to distribute video content and use it in ways that we might never have imagined. One example that immediately comes to mind is our American Sign Language department. They’ve taken full advantage of the integration with Learn and the fact that you can use the mash-up option anyplace that there’s a text editor, and they’ve integrated videos into their quizzes and tests.

Our communications students are using the technology for reflective practice. They are able to record videos and almost instantaneously see, “How did I perform and where is the room for improvement?” Our pharmacy students have a requirement to work in our pharmacy on campus, with real customers coming in and out. When a customer walks up to the pharmacy counter, there is a sensor pad on the floor that triggers a camera. The students can later watch the video to see, “How is my customer service? How are my interactions with the customers changing over time?” That’s a unique learning experience.

Then we have multiple departments doing quick video intros and instruction on the fly. We have a large number of flipped classrooms. For the past several years we’ve been going through a campus-wide redesign initiative, and now video has become a big part of it.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please go to:

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