Put It Online

Kelly RheaToday's students demand anytime, anywhere access to content on the web-- any content.

For those still concerned that utilizing lecture capture technology will result in students not showing up for class, it's time to wake up.

A recent report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison E-Business Institute, "Insights Regarding Undergraduate Preference for Lecture Capture", has revealed just how important class capture is in the minds of today's college students: According to the survey, an impressive 82 percent of respondents (7,500 UW undergraduate and graduate students) prefer courses with an online lecture option. Sixty percent are even willing to pay for lecture capture services, preferably on a course-by-course basis.

Why is class capture so popular with students? Sure, they use it as a study aid; 78 percent of responding UW students ranked "improving retention of class materials" as a top benefit of having lectures webcasted. But for 93 percent of respondents, the most important factor was that lecture capture helped them make up for a missed class. Yes, students are missing classes-- and not just due to alarm clock "malfunctions." A growing number of nontraditional students juggle work responsibilities, childcare commitments, and class schedules, and classroom time can't always be a priority.

The fact is, the need to consume content asynchronously-- and the demand for anytime, anywhere access to content via the web-- has become more pervasive than you might think. Take, for example, the success of Hulu.com, a free internet streaming-video service that is making full-length TV shows and movies available to anyone in the US (and it's legal). The company has partnered with television giants Fox, NBC, and others, convincing them that they should freely give away their proprietary content online. Network executives have come to accept that their audience will no longer respond to that bastion of television power: the Programming Schedule. Daytime, prime time, late night-- all are becoming irrelevant, replaced by 24/7 access on the web.

As a business model, the ideological move to embrace internet TV content is nothing short of revolutionary. "This is a tectonic shift," noted Hulu CEO Jason Kilar in a Wired magazine interview. "And what it does is allow network heads to find the audience they always should have had but couldn't reach."

Fifty-one percent of Hulu users are between ages 12 and 29. That audience represents the generation of students coming to your campus-- and they expect the online availability of the content they need. Any content. Simply put, like the TV networks, colleges and universities now need to embrace the shift to providing content online, or risk losing relevance in today's web enabled world.

--Rhea Kelly, Managing Editor
What have you seen and heard? Send to: kgrayson@1105media.com.

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