The internationalisation of higher education has become a topic of increasing interest for senior management teams at universities around the world. Whether it’s through cross-border research projects, student exchange programs, or widening transnational education initiatives, higher education institutions arguably have a more global outlook than ever before.
News from the US this week highlighted the growth of international students at US colleges studying STEM subjects, with new research from Pew released in June showing that over half of advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at US institutions in the 2012/2013 academic year were awarded to overseas students. In the UK, international student recruitment has been in the headlines recently too, following announcements that have outlined the country’s ambition to increase education exports two-thirds by 2020. Jo Johnson, the UK’s Minister for Universities and Science, talked about the three streams that would drive these increases – international students coming to study in the UK, UK universities with overseas campuses, and ‘technology-enabled exports’.
At modern academic institutions, technology is used on a daily basis to enhance the international student experience. And whether it be for overseas students who physically come and study on-campus, or for those who study remotely, video is a particularly powerful medium which institutions can use to address some of the specific challenges international students face.
By enabling international students to review content at their preferred pace
Many students find it difficult to follow a lecturer while taking notes at the same time. So imagine the challenge this creates when the lecture is delivered in your second language — a common issue for a significant number of international students. Of course, the ability to watch on-demand lectures is beneficial for all students, but for non-native speakers it has a particularly useful role to play in ensuring that every detail of the lecture can be understood.
Lecture recording makes it possible for the student to concentrate fully during the physical lecture itself, then review the session afterwards to consolidate learning. Features like Smart Search allow students to hone in on the specific parts of the video that they need to review while variable speed playback offers the ability to watch the lecture back at half the speed if needs be. For students finding it hard to follow a lecturer speaking at normal speed, the flexibility video playback offers clear benefits.
By supporting distance learning and innovative pedagogies
Many international students need to be able to access learning content remotely, and a number of our university users are facilitating this in a range of ways. Some institutions are connecting with students based on overseas campuses via live broadcast, allowing these students to access lecture material wherever they are through a distance-learning model. International students studying remotely can also find the ability to submit their own video recordings particularly helpful – allowing them to feel more engaged in their learning process even if they’re not physically at university.
At other institutions, the access to on-demand lectures offers a significant advantage during school breaks and holidays when international students return home. For a significant portion, the ability to download key lecture recordings and watch them even if they don’t have an internet connection makes revision much easier in areas with low connectivity.
Some universities are also using video to enable a flipped classroom approach, and this too can improve the international student learning experience. Just as the ability to watch past lectures on-demand can help consolidate learning for international students working in their second language, the ability to get on top of core course concepts in advance of face-to-face sessions can further boost the in-class experience.
Panopto’s video platform for education makes it easy to record, manage, share, and search virtually any kind of classroom content. If you want to find out more about how Panopto can help you improve the international student experience, get in touch with a member of our team to request a demo or take a 30 day free trial.