Home How Video is Transforming Higher Education from the Inside Out

How Video is Transforming Higher Education from the Inside Out

As the face of higher education has changed over the past couple of years, we’ve seen an increased emphasis on digital technologies that allow for flexibility and immersive learning. And it’s video technology that’s leading the charge.

Understanding the Brain’s Love Affair with Video

When viewed through the lens of historical content creation and dissemination, video is a relatively new visual medium. Compared to written words and images, video is a newcomer. But despite coming along relatively late in the evolutionary game, the human brain loves video.

Scientists say brains process visuals 60,000-times faster than text. And when someone sees a video, they remember 95 percent of the message compared to just 10 percent for text-based content. In total, 90 percent of the information processed by the brain is visual. In other words, visual instruction is highly effective.

The question is, why does the brain love video so much?

Video is Transforming Higher Education from the Inside Out

Before we dig into some of the ways video is being leveraged in higher education, we must answer this fundamental question. In doing so, we’ll begin to understand how video fits into education both now and in the future. So, without further ado, here are three specific reasons why video is so effective:

  • Show vs. Tell. When a teacher tells a student something in an oral lecture, the student has to comprehend, visualize, and then commit that concept to memory. On the other hand, when a teacher shows a student something through video, they no longer have to conjure up an image in their brain. Instead, that image is directly transmitted to the brain and committed to long-term memory storage. Perhaps that’s why researchers believe one minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million written words.
  • Personalization. It’s a lot easier to personalize content and teaching with video. When showing video, you can impart your personality and create a genuine connection with the viewer even though you aren’t physically in the same space. This is much more difficult to do with a blog, textbook, or audio-based lesson.
  • Easy to Share. Video content is digestible and easy to share. This makes it an ideal content medium both within a curriculum and for external sharing purposes. If virality is a goal, creating bite-sized pieces of content can help you exponentially increase your exposure in today’s digital landscape.

Once you understand the why behind video instruction, its potential becomes quite clear within the higher education landscape. After that, it’s simply a matter of innovating and executing.

3 Ways Video is Enhancing Higher Education in 2021 and Beyond

While higher education is typically one of the slower-moving industries in the marketplace, video is quickly catching on. In fact, innovation and adaptation have happened at an accelerated rate over the past 18 months.

Much of this innovation has been thrust upon higher ed due to the pandemic, but the results are transformational and long-lasting. Listed below are three of the biggest video-related trends we’re currently seeing in higher education and what they might mean for the future of learning.

1. Remote Teaching

Historically, classroom-based teaching has been viewed as the gold standard of higher education. For many decades, it was the only realistic option. But over the past 10 or 15 years, when remote teaching has been a practical choice, it’s lagged behind in execution and adoption.

The pandemic of 2020 has changed all of that, though there’s still a ways to go. And it’s ultimately video technology that’s made this shift possible.

According to one study, just 5 percent of college budgets were dedicated to IT spending prior to the pandemic. And prior to the shutdowns in the spring of 2020, just one-third of U.S. college students had any experience taking an online course.

Fast forward, and today nearly 100 percent of students have taken an online course. In response, IT budgets are increasing and video has emerged as a massive investment. Thanks to the power of live streaming and the sophistication of cloud technology, however, it’s now possible for colleges and universities to try remote teaching without making a massive investment.

Video cost is nowhere near what it was just five years ago.

This allows schools to experiment with remote teaching without significantly increasing their IT budgets. However, as adoption increases and they begin to see the economics of remote learning, institutions can increase their budgets and develop more sophisticated systems to reach a larger number of students at scale.

2. Clinical Simulation Labs

In fields where students are required to take clinical labs prior to graduation, video gives instructors much more flexibility in how they craft their curriculum and programs. As a result, students leave these programs with more real-world skills that prepare them for their first jobs.

Clinical simulation helps with learning.

Clinical simulation labs are top-rated in industries such as healthcare, counseling, sales training, and market research. It can also be used to train early childhood education majors.

Video recording for simulation labs has become especially popular over the past several years. With video recording systems such as the VALT system from Intelligent Video Solutions, it’s now possible for schools to turn traditional simulation labs into high-tech labs.

These high-tech labs work without bulky video equipment, wires, and clunky software programs. Innovations such as these have really changed the game when it comes to improving learning outcomes.

Nursing simulation labs and medical school simulation labs

For example, in nursing simulation labs, students can be placed in mock scenarios where they must quickly tend to a patient and perform life-saving maneuvers. Instructors can watch from another room, record the simulation, and even provide live feedback during the simulation. The video can then be saved, archived, and replayed again in the future.

3. Democratized Learning

While colleges and universities may not be terribly excited about this option — it’s impossible to deny the shift occurring in free online video. With YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok, anyone can create and share instructional content with a basic smartphone and a few clicks of a button.

The new reality is totally democratizing the online learning experience. Anyone can learn anything from anywhere without technically needing a college degree.

Millions of sites to find online learning

To understand this shift, all you have to do is study the increase in online learning platforms such as Udemy, Kajabi, Teachable, Coursera, and Thinkific. Millions of people flock to these sites to learn real-world skills, and it doesn’t appear that this trend will slow down anytime soon.

Colleges and universities will either have to hop on board soon or risk getting left behind.

Many colleges have already responded to this shift by publishing mini-courses and lectures online. In addition, some are partnering with platforms such as LinkedIn to offer their courses for free. This is an especially popular option for elite schools and Ivy League universities. It allows elite schools to reach massive populations of students who otherwise might not be able to attend their exclusive degree programs. Significantly, it serves as a brand builder.

In the future, don’t be surprised if schools come out with their own on-demand learning platforms where students can consume high-quality courses and receive certificates rather than full degrees. With the right approach, digital can potentially bring in seven-figure annual revenue for schools and universities.

Video and the Future of Higher Education

For many decades, higher education has been stuck in its tracks. While innovation does happen occasionally, it’s usually very concentrated and short-lived. Changing the entire industry at one time is a difficult proposition. But one quick look at video instruction paints a different picture.

Video-based instruction is the wave of the future

Video-based instruction is an innovation that has the ability to change an entire industry from the inside out. The combination of new technology, evolving social norms, and the challenges of a global pandemic have all paved the way for significant adoption as we move forward into a new world of higher education.

Covid and other problems.

It’s obvious to note that if COVID rears its ugly head again this year — having machine learning available in the form of better video can help save education and schools will want those options in place at the elementary and higher education levels.

It’s no longer a question of if or when video will transform this industry. Instead, it’s simply a matter of how much it will change things.

Image Credit: emily ranquist; pexels; thank you!

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Deanna Ritchie
Former Editor

Deanna was an editor at ReadWrite until early 2024. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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