Jan 28 2018
Bandwidth Management

The Jump in Video Learning Amplifies Residential Networking Requirements

As more faculty embrace flipped and blended learning, institutions must ensure they support the necessary connectivity.

Today’s college dorm room would be nothing without a strong Wi-Fi signal. The “2017 State of ResNet Report” proves that residential hall networking is a growing priority on campus. The study notes that 70.5 percent of institutions have dedicated 1GB of bandwidth or more to residential halls, up from just 25.5 percent in 2012.

TV and video applications, such as Netflix, and rich, web-based content, such as YouTube videos, consume the most bandwidth at higher education institutions, the report says. But entertainment isn’t the only factor driving students to stream more video. Colleges and universities are increasingly integrating video content into coursework, which puts pressure on networking needs.

When the University at Buffalo upgraded its network infrastructure, it did so in part because of its high number of online and hybrid courses that required students to access video content regularly.

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Video Inside and Outside of Class Increases

Regardless of the source, it’s clear that video use in higher education is surging. A whopping 99 percent of institutions in Kaltura’s “The State of Video in Education 2017” report that educators regularly incorporate video in their curricula. From lecture capture for distance learning students to blended learning assignments, educators are using video to drive up student engagement.

At Central Michigan University, professor Michael Garver has found success in flipping his marketing classroom. By creating videos of his lectures and then having students view them before attending class, Garver was able to devote class time to more meaningful discussions and critiques.

Nearly half of higher ed faculty indicated in a 2017 survey that they use a flipped learning model. The model leads to greater flexibility and increases accessibility for students who might not be able to focus in a traditional lecture setting.

One study found that teaching university mathematics in a flipped classroom could increase engagement in meaningful ways. For example, students in the flipped classroom found it easier to relate course contents to real-world experiences and to actively participate in the teaching of course content. These students also saw an increase in achievement over their peers.

As more universities find the flipped classroom model to be effective for students, higher levels of connectivity will be required to support the video content students will need to consume before they enter the classroom. If the ResNet report’s increase in residential connectivity is any evidence, clearly this is an area where universities are ready to step up.

This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.

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