Desk research on video use in higher education

Summary of Report 2101 by Odin Essers and Vic Diederen

The goal of this study was to capture existing, relevant knowledge about user needs regarding the use of video in higher education. The report provides a list of key publications, a summary of the most important insights provided by these publications and a concise conclusion, which also explains how these insights relate to the project and the service the project group aims to create.

One of the main conclusions is that there is a lack of academic articles about user/teacher needs related to video use in (higher) education.

Findings in the key publications mentioned above show that the project should take into account the following do’s and don’ts while developing the service:


  • invest in presentation techniques, multimedia presentation (e.g. slides and tagging) and online pedagogy training for teachers
  • invest in editing training for teachers using supported software, such as TechSmith Relay 4.1 (formerly known as Camtasia Relay) for integration with MediaSite
  • offer broad browser, file-format & codec support
  • offer good sound quality (over good image quality; image often distracts and content can be followed with sound, not with image)
  • offer a fast and reliable internet connection, for rich media and streaming purposes
  • give teachers the ability to clip/ edit, stream, copy and upload videos
  • give teachers and students the ability to build, tag, search and use video collections
  • tags need to be standardised and uniform
  • invest in a structured tagging interface
  • give students instructions on how to best tag the recorded lectures
  • laborious workflows should be minimised
  • offer rich media and multi-stream functionality
  • platform should be CMS for other tools, e.g. YouTube and iTunes U
  • for video lectures, focus more on the first-watch experience; for tutorials, add support for rewatching and skimming
  • students want to be able to replay the recorded lecture at high speed when reviewing the recorded lecture



  • high, expensive production values are not a must have. Values depend on context and audience
  • do not publish videos longer than four minutes. Chunk longer-form lecture content into shorter segments
  • do not misuse video for transmissive lectures
  • do not support outdated or exotic file-formats
  • support of mobile devices is not a must have. The majority of students watch course videos on a computer
  • video download functionality is not a must have for students, for teacher and other stakeholders a download option is desirable
  • technical infrastructure at university is of less importance to students, since almost all students access the recorded lectures from home


Check out the Full report desk research on video use.


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