Web collaboration trends — from The Webinar blog by Ken Molay

Intercall put out a press release today summarizing results from a survey of college students about watching webcast courses. I have to admit I was surprised by how widespread some of the behavior characteristics are… I knew that streaming courses over the web was done, but I didn’t realize how many students relied on it.

Consider that 48 percent of students said they take multiple classes scheduled for the same time! That’s a far cry from my college days, when I would painstakingly juggle which classes to sign up for based on whether I could get from one side of campus to the other in time. 78 percent of students said that professors had made courses available online, either live or on demand. What do you think these students are going to expect of communications when they enter the workforce? Will they agree to attend multiple product briefings or team meetings scheduled for the same time because they figure they can watch the webcast recording later?

The survey polled college students ages 18 to 25 about their attitudes and behaviors towards streamed video content of their college courses. Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Use of streaming is on the rise — Eight in ten students (78 percent) report that professors have made lectures available either by live video feed or posting a videotaped lecture for students to access online. Nearly a third (30 percent) say their professors use web streaming frequently.
  • In two places at once — Almost half (48 percent) of students take multiple classes scheduled for the same time which was virtually impossible before streaming. Also, 63 percent “attend” classes even though they are in reality, out of town.
  • Juggling jobs and studies — Streaming helps those students who are working their way through school: 47 percent say having content available to view at a later time allows them to work more hours at their job.
  • Students are taking control over the way they learn — Nearly 60 percent say streaming video allows them to spend more time studying by themselves and grasp concepts better because they can go at their own pace (44 percent).
  • We want our streaming! — More than two-thirds (67 percent) of students said they wish more of their professors used streaming and the majority (85 percent) say they would find it helpful to have their classes live streamed or video posted online.
  • Parents just don’t understand — A third of U.S. students say that their parents or guardians would be very upset to know how often they actually attend classes in person because they “attend” by watching video of their course online. However, the majority of respondents report that streaming improves students’ performance and helps them balance school with work.