Study reveals educational benefits of video teleconferencing

Originally Published on The Public Sector View

In previous posts on the Public Sector View, we’ve discussed the different ways video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions can benefit students – as well as the faculty and staff – at educational institutions. However, despite the numerous benefits, comprehensive metrics on the actual impact of VTC use on student education, grades and graduation rates remained relatively elusive.

Until now…

Polycom and the Center for Digital Education recently conducted a study to discover the percentage of colleges and universities that were using VTC or were planning to adopt it, and what benefits those that were using VTC on campus were receiving. The responses to the study show that schools do see an increase in performance and do receive instructional benefits from the technology.

The study – which polled 191 IT leaders in education institutions – found that a large majority (84 percent) were already utilizing VTC solutions on their campuses. The respondents said that 65 percent of decision makers on their campuses were in favor of utilizing VTC for instruction. Respondents also noted that 64 percent of students were in favor of utilizing VTC as part of their instruction.

When asked how they felt VTC supported their students and helped them succeed, respondents provided some very interesting, insightful and somewhat unexpected answers.

One respondent alluded to VTC helping increase graduation rates thanks to making courses easier to access. Another claimed that VTC improved the relationship and interaction between students and professors – helping drive up retention rates for students. Others claimed that classes via video were superior to online-only programs with no face-to-face collaboration, and that VTC helped increase grades and student confidence. One even claimed that VTC helped to improve grades and decrease cheating.

The results of the study will officially be released in the coming months. Data from the study will also be the subject of an upcoming Webinar entitled, “How Learning Spaces are Changing in Education,” that will feature Dr. Lundon C. Jackson, an Education Analyst for the Center for Digital Education, as well as Dr. Elaine Shuck, the Director of Education at Polycom and the President-Elect of the United States Distance Learning Association.

Now is an exceptionally exciting time in education. Technology is truly evolving how and what we teach future generations, and video is helping drive that change. As this most recent study shows, VTC solutions offer students more than a virtual fieldtrip to the Great Barrier Reef. They can increase engagement, help with the retention of lesson information, drive up student grades and even increase graduation rates.

For additional information or to register for the upcoming Webinar, go to:http://response.polycom.com/CDEwebinarreg

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