From written word to video: the rise of multimedia in undergraduate assignments
Undergraduate coursework is increasingly being submitted in non-written formats – a trend which has become the norm in a range of subjects beyond media courses. In this briefing we explore the development of this trend and how students are benefiting. We also look at what institutions need to consider in order to support them in creating and submitting great video content. This is a topic that Lorensbergs follows closely, with so many of our university customers using connect2 to facilitate easy access to media production equipment.
How video is becoming embedded in education
A recent international study in the use of video in education published by video platform Kaltura, found that 69% of institutions include video in student assignments, with 15% reporting that more than half of their students actively create video.
Of course, today’s students are the most video-savvy generation ever to have entered higher education. While concerns have arisen around the implications for literacy posed by increased use of video technology, they appear misplaced; video isn’t so much replacing conventional text reading as augmenting and supplementing it. And the benefits that come with developing competencies in video production add highly valued skills to what students can go on to achieve.
So how is video being used?
Institutions deploying video strategically are seeing palpable benefits. For a start, it’s improving student satisfaction and retention – which of course are of primary importance to universities. Video assignments and feedback are facilitating more personal bonds between students and educators, and helping quieter students come out of their shells, enabling them to settle and compete more effectively with more vocal classmates.
Integrating video production into assignments has for some time been prevalent across a range of subjects – by no means is it restricted to those on multimedia based courses. In some institutions media store facilities are being rolled out to the entire student population. The technology allows students to record video on a mobile device and effortlessly embed it into an assessment, which can then be securely submitted online. So it’s a facility which can be for institution-wide use, supporting a wide range of subjects.
For example, nursing students use the technology to fuse theoretical work with the professional development of crucial practical skills. Students can now video themselves undertaking a role-playing task, submit the outcome for assessment, and then receive critical analysis of their performance and how it fits with the theory. Meanwhile students in politics and international relations use video as part of a professional practice environment, for instance supporting them in developing conferencing aptitudes for remote working.
The challenges of introducing video
University support and promotion of digital literacy in media production is one of the top trends to watch according to CampusTechnology.com in both their 2018 and 2017 ed tech checklists. However, Calvin College Adjunct Faculty Member and Senior Instructional Designer Daniel Christian warns of some of the challenges here, including what's holding tutors back from integrating more multimedia assignments into courses:
“The issue is not just that faculty would need to find the time to get trained on how to create such content themselves, but also that they would need to develop the ability to accurately grade such content.”
So it’s not just the IT work involved in providing a submission facility and LMS integration that institutions need to tackle, but also training and evaluation approaches.
A further important issue is having the right equipment and facilitating access to these resources. Although some institutions will be relying on existing iPad stock or BYOD (bring your own device), others are extending their equipment-lending policies and resources as they seek to support and encourage the growth of multimedia working and assignments.
To this end, the wider lending of specialized media equipment (e.g. camcorders and microphones) traditionally reserved for those studying media-related modules is becoming more prevalent. Kaltura reports that 75% of institutions provide suitable equipment to students to some degree. This is a trend Lorensbergs has witnessed with the connect2 resource reservation solution being rolled out more widely in colleges and universities, which enables equipment store operations to raise their profile across a wider reach of students. Their aim is to publicize the range of multimedia equipment and facilities available so that all students have the opportunity to produce more accomplished work.
Without doubt, types of assessment submission are diversifying. Students increasingly expect their institutions to allow for the uploading and embedding of multimedia content, and for subsequent access. Guidance from technicians as to how to practically implement such resources will become increasingly crucial.
Of course, the use of video in coursework assignments is beneficial to students beyond their next learning outcomes; being video-savvy shows employers that graduates are in possession of the core abilities the modern working world depends upon - collaboration, creativity and knowledge sharing. It’s a highly positive and fast-growing development embraced by both students and institutional leaders alike.
About Lorensbergs and connect2
Efficient resource reservation software becomes increasingly important as institutions strive to keep up with growing demand from students for multimedia equipment. Lorensbergs now provides more than 100 universities and colleges with its unique equipment reservation system, connect2. This cutting-edge technology permits the immediate and future booking of equipment, labs and studios by students without the headaches of inadvertent double bookings. It also keeps records of all equipment in use, providing invaluable tracking and usage data.
Connect2 enables academic institutions to support fair access while increasing resource utilization and ROI on video equipment and facilities. For further information, please contact Danny Thomas.
Call 646 583 2215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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