Graduate employability is an important metric for institutions in Higher Education. How each university ranks has far-reaching implications for future student enrollment and their overall success. Here we explain how video creation is increasingly offering support.
Despite educators’ best efforts, many students are still facing an uphill struggle when it comes to securing graduate-level employment. Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and students risk becoming overqualified and under-employed. With employers increasingly looking beyond formal qualifications to workplace readiness, video production adds vital experience. Already on the rise in degree programs, it imbues students with a range of transferable skills.
With more students producing video than ever before, we explore how it’s boosting their employability. We’ll also look at what’s helping educators to integrate it into their pedagogy.
The rise of student video production
In an era where more and more employers favor skills-first hiring, a grounding in video production demonstrates a valuable skill set to prospective employers. Fortunately, the youth of today have had a head start on this front. For a generation raised on YouTube, video production is an almost intuitive tool for self-expression. As soon as they are old enough to use social media, many of today’s students begin experimenting with visual platforms like TikTok and Instagram, creating reels, boomerangs and other forms of user-generated video. Combined with the right teaching approach, this digital literacy can be combined with new practical skills to yield impressive results.
In the post-COVID era, a growing number of enterprising young people have begun supplementing their job applications with video resumes to make an impression on prospective employers where face-to-face interactions may be unfeasible. This is just one example of how video production skills can improve student employability.
HE professionals all over the world are starting to realize the value of weaving the development of those skills into their teaching methods. It represents a pedagogic shift that has almost certainly been buoyed by the necessity of remote learning during the pandemic.
Statistics show a distinct shift towards video production across a range of faculties. According to research by the video cloud platform Kaltura, 66% of HE institutions incorporated video production into student assignments in 2021– an increase of 12% on 2020 levels. The number of institutions that reported at least 50% of their students creating videos rose from 31% in 2019 to 45% in 2020. Likewise, 84% of institutions saw video improving student satisfaction in 2020 while 73% saw a direct correlation with improved student achievement.
So how does this upward trend relate to student employability?
Student video production: Transferable skills
Firstly, here’s an overview of the range of transferable skills that students gain when they take part in video production:
- Communication - Video production, by necessity, involves the communication of complex ideas through imagery, sounds and language. Integrating these ideas into video content requires deeper engagement with the subject matter and greater opportunity for clarity and brevity than in a written report or oral presentation
- Presentation - Video content will likely require students to improve self-presentation to achieve a professional and authoritative presence. Whether anchoring in a news broadcast or carrying out a studio interview, these experiences lend themselves well to job interview scenarios
- Digital literacy - Businesses are increasingly turning to digitization to make their processes more efficient or effective. With experience of the digital processes involved in video, students are better prepared for similar challenges in their careers
- Organization - Students must demonstrate outstanding organization, coordination and time management skills as they arrange equipment, schedule talent, or plan and organize shoots
- Teamwork - Producing videos invariably requires students to liaise and coordinate with other team members, contribute specific tasks and demonstrate leadership skills
Video production project stages and their implications for employability
Here we’ll look at how each specific stage of a video project is conducive to student employability. With each phase, students experience learning opportunities that lead to the development of valuable, sought-after skills.
The pre-production process is highly collaborative and requires teams to work together researching, analyzing, synthesizing and planning. Students compose a script and plan visual and audio assets to match it. Shot lists and storyboards are compiled, and resources and equipment are listed and secured.
This process engenders a range of practical skills that will aid students in seeking and excelling within employment such as:
- Creative problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Social and teamwork skills
- Planning and time management
The production process is all about students implementing their plans to assemble and create video assets. These might include filmed footage, animation, music, sound effects, voiceovers, still images, graphics etc.
Tasks need to be delegated and facilitated, resources need to be secured and allocated, and students will often need to improvise and adapt as the realities of production clash with their plans and schedules.
Here, students develop more skills including:
- Leadership and management
- Organisation and time management
- Assuming individual responsibility
All of these skills are valued by employers and can help students to make a case for themselves as worthy candidates at interviews.
Production involved the creation and assembly of visual and audio assets. Post-production is all about bringing those assets together to form a deliverable end goal.
Through the iterative process of editing, students learn to sculpt their raw materials into an integrated and coherent production. Here, students continually assess and reassess their work, adjusting and manipulating the content to ensure clarity, brevity and narrative flow. They may well gain an aptitude for the old industry adage “fixing it in post”!
The process requires focus and perseverance, as well as great attention to detail. For instance, they must ensure that sound and video are properly synced. Sound mixing must also be carried out to a high standard so that it enhances narrative flow of the piece without becoming distracting or confusing.
Again, the post-production workflow supports the development of transferable professional skills such as:
- Creative problem solving
- Communication skills
- Concentration and diligence
- Ipsative self-assessment
The video production process does not end at post-production. Student video productions are typically shared with peers as well as tutors. The dissemination of finished video materials usually culminates in peer and self-assessment where students evaluate the quality and efficacy of the assignment. Did the video communicate its ideas clearly and compellingly? Does it raise any pertinent questions that could stimulate conversation and debate? Are there any changes that the students would make in light of their peers’ feedback?
This is an important process as it encourages students to evaluate their work in light of critique from others. It’s something that will become increasingly familiar once they enter the world of work and undergo performance reviews.
Practical skills gleaned include:
- Critical thinking
- Formative self-assessment
- Peer assessment
Facilitating student video production: a practical approach
Educators and faculty leaders are often keen to make video production part of their pedagogy. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some best practice tips in facilitating this development.
Think carefully about group sizes
Larger groups can give rise to passengers– students who make a disproportionately low contribution to group work. As such, group marks may not necessarily reflect the efforts of all involved. It’s important to ensure that task allocation is made an explicit part of the assignment to avoid uneven workloads and passenger behaviors.
Inter and intra-group peer assessment can also be of help here. They encourage students to think in terms of group efforts and the individual contributions of which they are made up. It’s a dynamic that will likely remain with them throughout their careers.
Consider the impact of editing
Communicating with brevity is important. But imposing short time limits on student videos may lead to an increased editing workload while also making it harder to communicate their ideas. A study by Taylor and Francis found this to be a common point of frustration for students. While the constraints of having to condense complex information into a short video is a valuable learning experience in itself, it’s good to strike a careful balance when deciding the required length.
Establish an infrastructure that ensures easy access to equipment
It’s important to support students with the necessary equipment and tools for video creation. According to research by Kaltura, 80% of institutions currently provide these. But gaps in provision and support can disrupt student workflows and potentially compromise the quality of deliverables. Kaltura suggests that in 2020, only 30% of universities felt that these resources were fully available.
The right infrastructure can help improve equipment access and availability for more successful projects. Connect2 equipment checkout software enables faculties to manage substantial portfolios of equipment with simple inventory management, reservation and checkout workflows.
Lights, camera, take action!
The video production skills gleaned as part of their degree studies not only make students more appealing to employers, they can also prepare students for the realities of the workplace. Not least, video’s multidisciplinary nature gives valuable experience in producing complex deliverables to a set deadline.
It’s up to you to decide how you might integrate video production into your existing pedagogy. There are many exciting opportunities that not only leave students with transferable skills but also enhance their learning experience. The next step is to provide the required equipment and support. No doubt, students will enjoy the challenge and bring plenty of inspiration to the task too.
About Lorensbergs and Connect2: Equipment checkout software Connect2 from Lorensbergs supports student video projects in colleges and universities worldwide. Over 100 institutions use Connect2 to showcase, schedule and track their resources. It helps students to make the most of the video, audio and broadcast equipment available to them, build their kit lists, and achieve superior results in their productions. Find our more about Connect2 here.