The Role of Video Lectures in College Education

10 November 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about changes that may ultimately become a staple in how we operate in the space of higher education. Online learning and video lectures have become a norm for college campuses across the country and the world. Even with several effective vaccines, many college professors are opting to stick with video lectures. In addition, some colleges have put in place vaccine mandates that students must abide by to attend the universities, yet the vaccination rate amongst young adults 18-35 remains low. Leaders worldwide are working around the clock to figure out ways to get as many people vaccinated in their respective nations as possible to slow the spread of the deadly virus and prevent it from mutating any further. But it seems that we may be in for a future where we must learn to live with COVID. For universities and their students, this means integrating asynchronous multimedia into their curriculum.

On the bright side, it appears that asynchronous multimedia can help to improve learning outcomes for students when accompanying traditional teaching methods. For example, in a research study published in Sage, an independent American publishing company that publishes academic research and books, a multi-level random-effects meta-analysis of universities worldwide was taken to study the effects that video lecturing had on the classroom. Researchers discovered that utilizing video lecturing instead of traditional teaching methods had a small but noticeably positive impact on the students' learning outcomes. Furthermore, when coupled with formal classroom lectures, video lectures, and other asynchronous multimedia, they proved to be highly effective tools that significantly improved learning outcomes amongst college students.

For parents, professors, and students alike, the findings in this meta-analysis are great news. Many educators are worried about the negative impact that COVID-19 and the subsequent quarantine has had on students, with many of them fearing that it would lead to plummeting grades, decreased classroom participation, and a declining interest of students in their studies. But the meta-analysis shows that students maintained their grades, participated in class, and thrived, especially when video lecturing was deployed concurrently with traditional teaching methodologies.

There are many reasons video lecturing can help to improve learning outcomes. For one, video lectures can be accessed outside of class. In a traditional classroom, students must attend class physically and take notes during a lesson. If they fail to do so, they will not be able to access the information given in the lecture and risk failing future exams and assignments. With video lecturing and other asynchronous media, learning material can be accessed at any time. For a student who misses class, this means they can still access the educational material they need. In addition, studying is more effective when video accompanies an in-person lecture. Students can compare their notes with the video and study any material they might have missed while taking notes. Finally, for shy students, video lecturing can be an excellent opportunity to participate in class. Video lecturing can allow them to express their thoughts without the pressure of speaking in front of a lecture hall full of their peers.

It may be the case that asynchronous media will become the new normal for the college classroom. If that is the case, the results will likely be positive for professors and students alike. Video lecturing and other digital methods can help to open up a brand-new world of learning possibilities for college students that can lead to better learning outcomes.