Community colleges have seen tremendous growth since the recession of 2007-2009, and with the cost of four-year public and private institutions continuing to surge, small, local programs such as these are becoming more practical options than ever before.
Interestingly, we’ve seen a 9.5 percent decline in community college enrollment over the past year – an anomaly in the past decade of data. This is in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely prove to be a temporary dip on an otherwise promising growth chart.
If community colleges want to move past this temporary decline and take advantage of the positive long-term growth trends of high enrollment, they must look for opportunities to get ahead. And though it may sound like a simple and inconsequential aspect, video technology can prove to be a major differentiator.
Video Application in Community College Settings
The beauty of video lies in its versatility. Beyond the obvious ways it can be used, there are numerous applications that make it well-suited for community colleges that want to become more competitive. Here are a few of the top use cases:
1. Remote Learning
For many years, community colleges have trailed behind four-year institutions in providing remote learning opportunities. Schools have been reticent to invest in the proper technology and/or train their staff to take on remote instruction (which is admittedly very different than classroom-based instruction). But COVID changed everything.
In the spring of 2020, hundreds of community colleges around the nation were forced to shut down classroom teaching and shift to virtual programs. For better or worse, this pressure led to significant innovation. Not only did this real-time “experiment” work, but many community colleges are now investing significant resources into growing their remote learning programs.
Video technology is one of the reasons why remote learning has been so effective. It can be used in a variety of ways. Outside of the traditional method of recording classroom lectures, video can also be used to bring students into immersive experiences. For example, a professor at Stanly Community College in Albemarle, North Carolina recently recorded himself taking a car apart and then putting it back together so that his students could follow the process step by step.
2. Online Office Hours
It’s not just classroom instruction. Video can also be used to provide students with support. Whether it’s an on-campus student or a distance learning student, office hours can now be held online using simple video technology.
The benefit of online office hours is multifold. For starters, it’s convenient for both the instructor and the student. Students can meet with a professor from their home or dorm room without having to physically drive to campus. Likewise, the professor can hold back-to-back meetings with students and get more done in less time.
Secondly, there’s a safety element to online office hours. In a post-COVID world, there will continue to be some students who are more comfortable meeting virtually. Online office hours provide a safe alternative to traditional office-based meetings.
3. Flipped Classrooms
Flipped classrooms have become one of the most popular trends in education. This format, which is now commonly used in lower levels of education, flips the traditional teaching methodology. Instead of learning new material in the classroom and implementing it with homework assignments, students learn the material at home and then implement it in the classroom. The idea is that implementation is the most critical aspect of learning, so students can benefit from direct involvement from the instructor.
Flipped classrooms have proved very effective over the years. The latest research suggests 96 percent of educators with flipped classrooms recommend it to their colleagues. In total, 71 percent of educators see improved grades after switching to a flipped curriculum.
While they’ve previously been hesitant to go this route, there’s now nothing stopping community colleges from using a flipped framework in their degree programs. With advanced video technology, it’s possible (and practical) to provide high-impact instruction remotely, which makes this setup more feasible.
4. Student Observation
In certain programs, instructors need to observe students as part of their lab assignments. Advanced video systems can be used to facilitate frictionless observation with real-time feedback. This type of observation is especially common in healthcare and Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) programs.
5. Video Marketing
While community colleges haven’t traditionally spent much time or money on marketing, the democratization of mass media and the advances in video technology make it a much more practical option.
Marketing videos that show what life is like at a community college really resonate with prospective students. For schools looking to earn increased exposure, good video marketing ideas include:
- A day in the life of a student or professor
- Virtual campus tours
- Video testimonials from students or professors
- Free online courses (which act as lead magnets to draw in applicants)
Whatever the case may be, video – in tandem with social media – opens up cost-effective marketing options for community colleges that are otherwise short on funds.
Request a Free VALT Demo
At Intelligent Video Solutions, we believe video has the power to transform instruction and learning in higher education settings. That’s why we offer our Video Audio Learning Tool (VALT) in a platform that’s specifically tailored to college classrooms.
Whether you’re looking for a solution that allows you to live stream classroom teaching to remote learners, or you have a specific need for skill labs and student observation, VALT is the ideal option.
VALT is a proprietary and simple-to-use application that’s capable of live streaming and recording high-definition video. The software is capable of capturing multiple high-definition streams at once and provides a suite of custom features like multi-view, digital zoom, start and stop features, and tagging capabilities. You can even schedule recordings in advance so that the feed is automatically pushed out at the same time each week.
Another benefit of the VALT platform is that it’s a browser-based solution. This means users never have to download software and can access it at any time with any device (Mac, PC, mobile, etc.).
To learn more about VALT, or to request a free demo, please contact us today!