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Three ways video is changing online learning

12 October, 2020 | by Dr Lucy Elliott

In my previous article, Video is critical to engage online students, I explain how we are using video to produce short, sharp, and engaging content to improve our student learning outcomes.  In this article, we delve into how video technology is truly changing the way students interact with and use video in online learning.

If you told me 20 years ago that videos would make it possible to revolutionise learning for students, I would have had my doubts. Improvements in video technology have transformed the way we deliver online education, something that we couldn’t have predicted even 10 years ago.

Here’s my three predictions for how video technology will change online learning.

Interaction will be key

More and more we’re seeing interaction play a big role in the production and use of videos in online learning, whether that’s through embedding quizzes and hotspots, chaptering of content, or more complex interactivity such as advanced branching videos where the student ‘chooses their own adventure’.

Interaction has already proved useful in engaging students and supporting them to learn complicated problems and concepts. In our current pilot using the video platform Kaltura we’ve seen significant increase in students’ engagement with their learning materials, relative to other similar units and found they are more likely to complete and pass their assignments. Our pilots have seen significant increases in progression, pass rates and average mark, compared with the last time they were offered. There were also smaller increases observed in retention rates, though these did not appear to be statistically significant. Some other findings include:

  • 96% of students in one unit, where the teaching team created short explainer videos on complex topics, felt they helped improve engagement and supported their learning objectives.
  • Where in-video quizzes were used in units, 76% of students agreed or strongly agreed that in-video quizzes supported their learning and understanding, as well as engaged them further in the unit.
  • 88% of students wanted to see in-video quizzes in other units. Most students found the Kaltura platform features useful and easy to use, including chaptering, search function for video and content in-video, general uses (play, pause etc), and switching views (slides, presenter).

Data will inform how we develop and use video in online learning

Video technology is providing teaching teams and learning designers with the data that tells us how our students are viewing and engaging with video. The quantitative data can give us insights at an overall unit level, or hone in on exactly how engaged students are with a video in a unit, including for example how many times they’ve watched a video or how far through they view it.

These sorts of insights can inform the design of specific interventions with students who may need additional support. The insights can also support decisions on which videos may be more relevant and interesting to students, and which aren’t so relevant.

More advanced video tools that allow students to like, comment or take personal notes, are also giving our teams rare insights into how our online learning community engage with videos.

Automation will make video more accessible

At OES, ensuring that all our content is accessible to all learners is a core element of our pedagogical approach. Video is no exception. We’re now using Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven technology to ensure broad accessibility for all our videos. Automated transcription services found in modern video platforms can transcribe and develop captions quickly for all our videos. Of course, automated technology doesn’t always get it right, so we ensure a human eye corrects any issues.

This not only supports our accessibility objectives for those with particular learning needs, but is also addressing the needs of our changing student study patterns. More than ever, students will watch a short video in places they can’t have the volume up, so captions support their learning 24×7.

We will certainly continue to see the video format used more and more in years to come.