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Choose a video streaming service that drives student success
With the right streaming video service, libraries can empower faculty with content that improves the student learning experience
Video is increasingly becoming a standard tool for enriching instruction and engaging students in both physical and virtual environments. With the help of academic librarians and the streaming services they make available, faculty are increasingly comfortable integrating video in their courses.
Students are benefiting from this trend. In her article, Should video lectures be the new normal in higher ed, Nicola Barbaro reported on a study on the impact of video in the classroom. “The primary findings show that when instructional videos fully replace other methods like in-person instruction, videos are marginally more effective for student learning,” Barbaro writes. “But when videos are added to in-person instruction, students experience even greater learning gains.”
Video is a powerful tool for student success, but understanding what video content works best and getting the right content isn’t always easy for faculty. Research from Ithaka S+R notes the importance to libraries of supporting faculty: the number one criteria libraries use in evaluating streaming video vendors is adoption in curricula. Coordinating instructor needs with library services is critical.
What faculty want
Helping universities understand a dynamic landscape, Ithaka S+R has continued to study and report on the use of streaming video. A recent webinar explored instructional practices faculty use when teaching with streaming video and the challenges they face. Four key needs of faculty were identified.
- Instructors value streaming video when it has the ability to meaningfully reinforce their course content, introduce diverse perspectives and narratives, and promote student engagement and learning.
- Instructors from all disciplines draw on many genres of video for classroom use. Most often, instructors prefer using short videos and clips in synchronous classes over feature length films.
- Poor access to international and independent content, especially content created by people from marginalized groups, limits choices for many instructors, particularly those teaching film, performing arts, foreign languages, and area studies.
- Keeping costs low for students is a priority. Few instructors feel comfortable asking students to pay even nominal costs to access video material.
A checklist for an academic video streaming service
Through their collection investments and content expertise, librarians are key resources to ensuring faculty can empower academic achievement by incorporating streaming video in teaching and learning. Here is a blueprint for what librarians should look for when adding a streaming service to their library’s collection.
- Tools that promote student engagement and reinforce course content. Interactive assessment tools within the streaming experience can provide insight into student comprehension of concepts. For example, Academic Video Online from ProQuest, part of Clarivate, enables faculty to embed assessment and pedagogical tools such as multiple choice questions, polling and free response questions within videos. In addition, collaboration activities allow students to discuss topics with each other and expand understanding of lessons. The reflective pause option can even help slow down the stream and give students time to draw connections from the course to the video. Throughout the entire stream, faculty have access to real-time analytics to see student responses and adapt lesson plans, leading to dynamic instruction and improved learning outcomes.
- Features that make course planning easier for faculty. An entire video or film usually does not fit the exact needs of an instructor. A thoughtfully designed academic streaming service will account for this and support the faculty member’s need to shape a video for their courses and curriculum. Academic Video Online balances the film maker’s original vision with course needs by including a clip-making function that allows faculty member to edit to specific parts of a video. The specific content can be assigned prior to class to save precious lecture time and supports a flipped classroom strategy. Additionally, faculty can also integrate video content within their Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for handy access and interaction with the content directly during course planning.
- Diverse content accessible for all users. A well-designed streaming service will have filters that allow you to quickly explore the content and evaluate its ability to meet the needs of all types of students and courses. While catalog size isn’t everything, larger often translates to more options in more areas. A smaller catalog tends to be more specialized. Be sure to check for accessibility options like on-demand audio description, playback speed customization and customized captions to support all users.
- Cost considerations for student and library. When students can access course-related materials through the library, this is a significant savings to them so communicating with faculty about how you can support their courses is key. Look for services that have marketing materials that you can use to supplement or start conversations with faculty. Just as important consider the cost to the library; fixed subscription pricing that includes content that covers the breadth of your university’s curricula are generally more affordable and avoid the budget surprises of patron demand acquisition (PDA) models.
Video in the classroom of today and tomorrow
As technology has made video more accessible, its use in the classroom has steadily grown and is now backed by research that shows its value in helping students achieve academically. By understanding what faculty and students need to succeed, libraries can effectively collaborate with faculty, helping them learn about video options and supporting them with a service that delivers a better experience for faculty and an engaging learning environment for students.
To get an inside look at video technology designed specifically for the academic learning and research environment, register to watch an upcoming Academic Video Online overview or connect with us to explore for yourself.
Sarah Brennan is a Senior Manager, Product Management, here at ProQuest. Her background is in libraries, with a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she’s been building and product managing Academic Video Online for the past several years.
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