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College Students on Streaming Video: Get Me Outta Class!

Nearly a third of college students reported that their parents or guardians would be "very upset" to know how little they actually attend classes in person. The reason: They're watching the courses through streaming video instead. Almost half reported that they'd prefer to join classes online than interact with classmates and professors in person. These results came out of a survey of 504 college students sponsored by InterCall, which sells conferencing and collaboration services.

Eight in 10 students (78 percent) reported that professors have made lectures available either by live video feed or by posting a videotaped lecture for students to access online. The majority of respondents said streaming allows them to "attend" classes even when they're out of town or when they want to attend versus when the university has the class scheduled. Nearly half said that one advantage of streaming video is that it would enable them to take multiple classes scheduled for the same time slot. A solid 64 percent reported that viewing their classes through video online lets them fast-forward through the parts they don't find useful.

The majority of respondents indicated they believe that video streaming helps improve the educational experience by helping them prepare better for exams (74 percent), improving their grades (54 percent), and learning more effectively than sitting in class (53 percent).

"The research clearly shows how new technologies--specifically streaming--are changing college experiences," said Ben Chodor, senior vice president of InterCall Streaming. "It does not surprise us that students are seeing the benefits of technologies such as ours. By streaming course content, professors and universities are providing students with the flexibility and interactivity that helps them excel and creates the educational experience that benefits them most."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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