This article will explore how to launch an online video education platform. Specifically, we’ll examine what sort of features you need for educational, online video. Once you know what features you need, it’s easy to choose the right online video platform and start creating and sharing content.
First, let’s consider the increasingly central role of video in educational contexts. Then, we’ll discuss how you can use online video education platform tools to enhance your educational goals. Whether you plan to stream live video or on-demand content, this article will help you choose the right online video education platform for your needs.
Why Video for Education?
First, let’s answer the obvious question: why video for education? Quite simply, because video use in education can be “highly effective.” According to one review of the scientific research, the benefits of using online video for education include:
- Enhanced “comprehension and retention of information”
- Support for “multi-modal” learning
- Appeal to multiple learning preferences
- Help students understand complex information
- Develop digital literacies
These benefits have made video a necessity in most modern classrooms. As one article explains, “Video is becoming as ubiquitous in classrooms as laminated periodic tables and whiteboards. […] [T]he use of video increases student satisfaction with the learning experience (selected by 93 percent of overall respondents). Another 85 percent of survey participants said they believe video increases student achievement.”
Video Inside Traditional Schools
The biggest opportunities for online video in education lie in two places. The first of these is inside traditional schools and universities. Educators in schools have found online video to be highly effective in two ways. First, as a supplement for classroom time. And second, for fully online classes.
88 percent of universities have reason to believe that video increases student achievement levels. For example, San Jose State University found that when students learned via video lectures at home prior to class-room discussion (“the flipped classroom”) average scores rose by 10 to 11 points.
For more on this topic, check out our eBook, The Complete Guide to the Flipped Classroom.
Overall, video is increasingly common inside schools at all levels, from elementary up to university and graduate-level. At this point, more than half of all students globally have taken an online course.
The e-Learning Revolution
One of the most common uses of video for education is fully online e-Learning. A variety of businesses and institutions are turning to online education. They are commonly providing skills for free, or monetizing video content by selling access.
Business is booming. In fact, eLearning is expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025. In recent years, we’ve experienced massive growth in online education. And, not surprisingly, video is driving that experience. Video is simply the easiest, most information-dense way to communicate and educate over the internet. Text, audio, and image-based learning cannot compare. And an online video education platform is exactly the right tool for successful use of video for education.
Let’s now look at some of the essential features that educators need in an online video education platform.
Secure Video Hosting for Education
One of the most important features for educators is security. Whether you are a traditional school/university or an eLearning business, your content needs protection. Only people with authorized access should be able to access course material.
To lock down access, you need a variety of security features. Luckily, professional video hosting and streaming solutions provide some of these features. But not all of them are created equal. Some platforms, for example, include very limited security options. Therefore, when researching an online video education platform, keep an eye out for these important security features (click the links for more info):
Integrate Video With Your LMS
When you’re using video in education, integrating with your LMS can be essential. An LMS (Learning Management System) like Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle is standard in schools and universities today. However, most of these platforms don’t have native video support.
What they do offer, however, is the ability to do custom integrations. A video API enables such customization. As a result, it’s a key component to consider in your chosen online video education platform.
According to Streaming Media, “The video workflow and distribution environment are incredibly complex, and the way to build a best-of-breed system or even just gain finer control over tasks—especially when delivering video at scale—is by API.”
Therefore, educators or administrators who build an online video education platform should ensure you have access to a video API. That way, you can integrate online video functionality inside your existing educational websites and web systems.
Other Key Features in an Online Video Education Platform
Of course, security and integration features are just the beginning. There is a variety of other important functionality for an educational video. Four of these essential features include: all-device compatibility adaptive streaming; high-quality delivery; monetization tools; and closed caption support.
Now, let’s review each key online video education platform feature in more detail.
1. All-Device Compatibility Adaptive Streaming
As with most things, quality matters when it comes to online video. In fact, online videos with a start-up time exceeding even two seconds have significantly higher streaming video abandonment rates. Moreover, each incremental second propelling another 6% of viewers to jump ship. And if you can’t guarantee good-quality streams, you’re not making the most of the benefits of online video for education.
Educators deliver videos to students with wildly different internet speeds and device types. For example, students may view content on smartphones, tablets, and computers. They may also use gaming devices, smart TVs, and other non-standard devices. In 2018, 2.38 billion people watched streaming or downloaded video across all devices. More than three-quarters of these viewers used a mobile device.
Overall, all-device adaptive streaming ensures that each viewer is delivered the best possible video quality on their device. In other words, it delivers each viewer with the highest-quality stream that their internet speed supports at any given time. This versatility and customization is key when using online video for education.
2. High-Quality Delivery
A good-quality CDN is increasingly standard in the online video education platform industry. If you’re new to streaming, a CDN (content delivery network) works to deliver your video content to viewers around the world. However, what’s not standard across the streaming industry is top-tier delivery. With that in mind, make sure to choose an online video education platform solution that uses a top tier CDN.
In addition, if you require video delivery in China, make sure your platform supports that natively. Though many OVPs advertise China video delivery, most don’t actually deliver content within China, bur rather to Hong Kong or elsewhere. If that’s the case, your video content will be subject to the many censors and regulations in effect today in China. In short, make sure to check the fine-print for in-China delivery when comparing streaming solutions.
3. Monetization Tools
Many education and eLearning businesses are selling access to their courses online. Overall, digital sales and rentals increased by 30% between 2014 and 2018. That amounts to total revenue of more than $830 million annually. If you’re interested in monetizing your online video, you need monetization tools.
There are three main monetization methods today. These include subscriptions (think Netflix or Amazon Prime), transactional (think pay-per-view), and advertising. A suitable online video education platform should include all of the monetization methods you need to successfully generate revenue from your eLearning video content.
4. Closed Caption Support
Finally, the ability to add closed captions to your videos is crucial. Due to a 2015 lawsuit against Harvard and MIT, educational institutions are now required to caption online course videos. Therefore, captioning is now a legal duty for eLearning contexts. Luckily, a professional online video platform can make it easy to add captions to your videos.
How to Launch an Online Video Education Platform
We’ve discussed the use of video in education, and what features to look for in an online video education platform.
Now, let’s bring it all together and quickly address how to launch a new online video education program. After reading this post, we recommend following these five basic steps:
- Decide on necessary features and select an online video platform.
- Configure as necessary, using API features to integrate with your existing systems.
- Begin to upload and share your library of content.
- When you’re ready, begin to promote your content and launch your courses.
- Use your OVP’s analytics dashboard to refine and improve your approach as you go.
The takeaway? Starting an online video education platform isn’t as hard as it used to be. In fact, modern online video platforms like Dacast make this process simple and empowering.
In this article, we’ve introduced you to the world of online video in education. We’ve discussed why video use is rising in education. And we’ve considered many of the necessary features for educational users today.
If you’re interested in getting started with an online video education platform, we do hope you’ll consider Dacast. Dacast is an online video platform that includes all the features described above, and much more! Plus, we offer competitive pricing and a full-featured 30-day free trial, with no credit card required. If you’re interested, click the button below and we’ll help you start streaming in a matter of minutes.
Interested in more regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers? Join our LinkedIn group! And if you have any questions about how to set up an online video education platform, contact us. We’d be happy to discuss your specific goals and how we can help you reach them.