The use of video in education is a core concern of this project. It is also a subject that is generating research from a variety of sources. In this post, we report on three recent pieces of research by NBN Co, Kaltura and SAGE.

1. NBN

In September 2015, the NBN Co. released some of the findings of recently commissioned research on fast broadband and online video use in Australia.  While the research does not specifically examine online video use in formal education, one of its main findings shows very high use of online video (which basically means YouTube) in informal education. The survey of 500 people found that 39 per cent of Australians are turning to online video to pursue their desire for learning, and are doing so from the comfort of their own homes

Or put another way, of the 51% of respondents who said they consumed online video, 83% said they did so for the purpose of learning something new. The pursuit of new skills or knowledge fell in to the following major categories:

NBN What do you use online video for

Now while this is a fairly small sample, it is noteworthy that self-education was cited by so many as one of the main reasons why they use online video.

While the NBN research shows high use of online video for informal education purposes, two other reports indicate high (and rising) use of video in formal education settings.

2. Kaltura ‘State of Video in Education 2015’

Earlier this year, American online video platform provider Kaltura published its second annual ‘State of Video in Education’ report. The report can be downloaded here – but you do have to fill in an online form before the download becomes active. The 2015 report draws on findings from an online survey that received 1200 responses from around the world, more than double the 2014 number of responses. Sixty six percent of respondents work in higher education, twenty six per cent in primary/secondary schools, and eight per cent in other roles (eg. educational not-for-profit organisations). As the report itself acknowledges, the respondents “are self selected and prone to a positive attitude towards video” (p.30), but even so the findings are noteworthy because they cover a range of issues beyond video use by respondents themselves.

Kaltura is video used

  • 73% of respondents use free online video ‘frequently’
  • 46% of respondents use licensed content ‘frequently’

The survey also asked about the optimal length of video for classroom use, and broke the responses down between those from educators and those from instructional designers. 67% of educators and 79% of instructional designers said that the optimal video length is less than 10 minutes. More educators than instructional designers (28% to 16%) identified 10-30 minutes as the optimal length, with more instructional designers than educators (28%-15%) nominating ‘less than 5 minutes’ as optimal length.

While we have yet to report on our own survey of screen content use in classrooms, the findings to date on free online video use and the findings from our field work in schools regarding optimal video length are broadly in line with the Kaltura report.

3. SAGE ‘Great Expectations: Students and Video in Higher Education’ (2015)

Also earlier this year, publisher SAGE released a White Paper ‘Great Expectations: Students and Video in Higher Education‘ by Elisabeth Leonard. The paper combined a survey of 1673 students from around the world with in-depth interviews. Its principal purpose is to assist higher education institution libraries to better understand student use and expectations of video.

  • 68% of students reported watching videos in classes
  • 79% of students voluntarily watch videos for educational purposes

Disturbingly for the libraries, the survey also found that students were (much) more likely to search for videos on YouTube or via Google than on their own institution’s library website. Many were unaware of resources provided via their institution’s library. This very high use of YouTube is also mirrored in our own research.

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