Video Content in Online Courses

This study aimed to understand how much streamed video students in different geographical regions were able to consume. It also focused on why students did not finish certain videos, even when they were able to do so. 

Researcher: Daniel Balls
Sponsor: Peter Williams
Completed: Fall 2017

Summary of Methods

Students in select courses (MATH 100G, MATH 100L, FDAMF101) were surveyed about their video-viewing experience at three points during Winter 2017. The survey was administered after certain required videos were delivered in each course.

Approximately 5,800 students from 73 different countries participated. Roughly 4,600 of those students were from the United States or Canada. 

Survey Questions

  • Did you view any of the video?
  • How much did you view?
  • Which of the following methods described how you viewed the video? (streamed video, downloaded video, printed transcript, etc.)
  • Where did you view the video?
  • When you viewed the video, were there other online students who also viewed it on the same device and at the same time?
  • In the space below, please share details about your viewing experience of any online video content in any BYU-Idaho online course.

Key Findings

  • Students indicated that video length, technical issues (including internet availability), and other more pressing course activities were the main reasons why they didn’t finish a video.
  • The majority of students view online videos in a home, though that varies by region (ex., in Western Africa, 30% view at an LDS building, while in Polynesia, more than 25% view at work). 
  • Approximately 30% of international and 11% of domestic students obtain video content using a means other than streaming (i.e. downloading or transcript. 
  • Students in the Philippines, Ghana, South Africa, and Polynesia reported the greatest technical obstacles when attempting to view a video.
  • Approximately 80% of domestic and 70% of international students reported viewing the entire video.
  • Nearly 97% of all responders indicated they watched at least some of the video.

Full Report


About this article

Responsible: Online Learning Researcher (Daniel Balls)

Accountable: Director of OPR (Ben Fryar)

Consulted: N/A

Informed: Peter Williams, Brian Carter, Tim Tanner, Curriculum Designers

Sharing: Unrestricted

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