Home College Students Head Back to the Classroom – Except Not Really

College Students Head Back to the Classroom – Except Not Really

Students are starting to return to college campuses, but according to a report commissioned by conferencing company Intercall, that doesn’t mean they’re heading back into the classroom.

The survey asked over 500 college students nationwide about their experiences with viewing course content over video streamed online. And 78% reported that their professors have used web streaming – either a live feed or videotaped lectures – with nearly a third saying that their professors use web streaming frequently. 21% of students reported that over half their course learning is done by viewing video content online.

Skipping School, Except on Exam Days

Many students admitted that they only show up to class for the exams, and instead borrow notes and tapes from others in their class. 32% say they’ve asked a friend or classmate to record a class for them so they didn’t have to attend in person.

The top benefits college students associate with having their lectures and college courses available via video online are “being able to ‘attend’ classes even though they are really out of town” (63%) and “being able to attend class when they want, not when the university has it scheduled” (58%). 47% reported that online content made it easier for them to work more hours at their jobs. And 43% touted the benefit of not having to get dressed for class. Only 15% listed “being able to attend more parties” as the main benefit of having their courses available online.

Video Streaming Makes Them Better Students?

Students also said that being able to access course content online gave them the flexibility to learn at their own pace. 64% said that viewing classes via online video lets them fast forward through the parts they do not find useful. More than half also said that online video helps them to spend more time studying by themselves. In addition, many reported that they felt more comfortable asking questions to professors online because they don’t have to speak up in front of the class.

Three-quarters of those responding said that having their professors post video online or live stream their lectures would help them be better prepared for exams. And over half said that they think they can learn more effectively when they can watch videos via live streaming than when they sit in a classroom, with 54% saying they’ve seen their grades improve because of access to video lectures.

A third of those responding admitted that their parents would be upset to hear about the frequency with which they skip class or about their preference for finding alternative ways to access course material. (Only a third?!)

But whether or not parents understand, the results of this study seem to confirm what many already see as higher education’s future: it’s going to be online. Many students already prefer it that way.

Photo credits: Flickr user Sholeh

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