Video has quickly become a dominant learning and communications medium in higher education. Panopto recently commissioned new research in partnership with youth trend experts Voxburner to find out what students really think about video learning technologies. More than 500 university students from 135 different UK higher education institutions from across the higher education sector took part.
Here are ten key lessons we learnt from students’ responses.
1. Most students believe technology enhances their learning experience.
90% of students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘technology improves my ability to learn’.
Here were some of the comments on why students felt technology boosted their learning process:
- “Technology allows me to find relevant information quickly and easily. It also allows lecturers to transmit information in a more effective way.”
- “As a student with a learning disability, it helps improve my work 100 fold […] I don’t think I’d be at uni without the use of technology.”
- “Data is everything when learning; can’t build bricks without clay. Technology provides the clay.”
2. The majority of students believe that ‘recorded lectures are a useful educational tool.’
92% of students agreed with this statement. When asked why they agreed, these were some of their responses:
- “Recordings are useful during revision time.”
- “If you missed something in the lecture or didn’t have time to make the necessary notes, or just needed to go over a certain point again, then having on-demand recordings is a must.”
- “I have dyslexia and so find it difficult to make notes and keep up with the lecture – when I have a recording of the lecture I can go back over bits that I missed.”
3. Video is a natural learning medium for the majority of students.
78% of the students surveyed were already using online video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to teach themselves new skills or acquire knowledge. Specifically, students are using online videos to help with coursework or projects, research which universities to apply to, and for learning to speak a new language.
4. Most of the students’ universities are already recording at least some of their lectures and making them available on-demand.
- 30% told us all of their lectures were recorded
- 35% told us some of their lectures were recorded
- 35% told us that none of their lectures were recorded yet
5. Mobile learning is increasingly important to students who want access to content anytime, anywhere.
When we asked ‘what one technology could you not live without’, the mobile phone recurred again and again. One student summed up the importance of mobile devices as follows:
“[…]it allows me to connect with people around me, find out information, stay engaged and educate myself.”
6. The use of ‘how-to’ videos for learning has grown massively.
33% of students told us that they had been given ‘how-to’ tutorial videos by their lecturers.
This figure has almost doubled since last year.
7. More students prefer to learn via video compared to books than vice versa.
We asked students to tell us about their preferred medium for learning or researching a new topic. Here’s what they said:
8. The majority of students find a blend of formal and informal learning methods most useful.
We asked students about the environment that helps them learn most effectively:
- 28% said they favoured a more formal environment (like a classroom setting)
- 11% said they favoured a more informal environment (such as using peer collaboration or online sources)
- 61% said they liked an informal and formal learning environment equally
9. Students were clear about why they prefer a blend of formal and informal learning.
Here were some of their further comments on the importance of a blend between formal and informal learning:
- “I like to have information explained so I have a basic understanding on which to build. Then, through independent research, I can pursue areas of particular interest.”
- “I usually like having a structured time when I will get work done so that I have fewer distractions and can focus more. Also being taught the content will be easier to understand. An informal environment will help back up the learning.”
- “I learn differently in different environments. Personally, I initially need to learn something through a structured environment. But I feel I develop my understanding more deeply in an informal environment as I can explore ideas in a more abstract way.”
- “You get different things out of both methods. A structured class gives you the content and basics you need to know, then you can expand on this by chatting through [with] friends and independent reading.”
- “In a classroom I find I learn well because it’s a set time period in which to absorb information and there’s less scope for distraction. However, I sometimes find that I understand concepts to a greater degree when in an informal environment…”
Related Reading: Tracking The Digital Student Experience In Higher Education
10. A growing number of students record their own video content.
33% of students said they recorded video content for personal events or reasons, while 10% said they had created video recordings for educational reasons.