Education: The Next Content Channel

Technology continues to change the face of education for elementary, high school, college and graduate school students – as well as the millions of other learners around the globe who want to pick up a new trade or skill. E-learning, online courses and Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are essential new offerings in the education field.

Today’s tools make it possible for just about any institution to get into the world of online education, whether it’s a hallowed institution like Harvard or a private company like Coursera. As many universities have demonstrated, offering courses online is a way to market yourself, which in turn increases application numbers and tuition base. A Department of Education study finds that 5.5 million American students take an online course through a college or university every year. Another study finds that online course enrollment accounted for nearly all recent growth at accredited two-year institutions.

The growing narrative appears to be that if your institution wants to improve enrollment, providing online courses is the most effective method to do it in 2016.

Having great professors makes a powerful impression on prospective students and is great public relations fodder among the wider population. Nowadays, these professors can even include celebrities – e-learning hub MasterClass launched an acting class late last year taught by none other than Kevin Spacey.

MOOCs, especially, are exploding in popularity. The number of students signing up for a MOOC crossed the 35-million threshold last year, and over 4,500 courses are currently available according to data from e-learning analytics firm Class Central. The opportunities are growing at an unprecedented rate. 

If education is a gleaming new content channel, then quality and value will be the keys to success. Institutions are now competing for the attention of content-hungry audiences who can go nearly anywhere for information and education, and creating engaging, professional-quality content is fast-becoming a requirement for entry. When done expertly, live-action video adds a human element to a course, and it often better illustrates how to complete a task compared to written, drawn or animated instructions. Plus, most professors aren’t interested in teaching courses where they have to essentially write a textbook. Video has proved an incredibly effective tool for online learning, but even beyond professional production quality, extra attention needs to be spent figuring out how to stand apart from the crowd of hobby-level DIY videos on YouTube by ensuring that the video fits into a larger plan.

“While an entertaining video will draw learners in and grab their attention, it won’t offer them real value unless it is a cohesive piece of the e-learning puzzle,” e-learning blogger Christopher Pappas noted in a post last year. “Before developing your e-learning video, figure out how you can seamlessly integrate it into the content of your e-learning course in order to increase learners’ engagement and knowledge absorption.”

Institutions and companies exploring e-learning should strive to put as much thought and expertise into their videos as any film production company. Still, many seem scared off by filming and producing video, even though they are extremely helpful to students.

“Despite its advantages, many e-learning developers hesitate to use video,” e-learning expert Veronica Phillips wrote in a blog post. “Creating interesting, professional videos does take some planning and technical skill. There’s also a fear of perceived high cost. But none of these barriers are insurmountable.”

The 2016 NAB Show, April 16-21 in Las Vegas, will be exceptionally valuable to those that want to thrive in the growing world of e-learning and online courses. As this trend continues and the importance of creating quality content that stands out increases, staying in tune with every aspect of content creation and consumption are vital. At the 2016 NAB Show, attendees will learn from and network with leaders and innovators from around the globe and representing every sector of the media. With hours upon hours of sessions and panel discussions, you’ll leave with a much greater understanding of how to create successful and professional video content that looks fantastic and truly adds value to your students’ experience.

The leaders of the video production industry will all be at NAB Show – there’s no better way to learn how to stand apart from other course providers. Use code BA52 at checkout before April 1 for a free Exhibits Pass, which gives you access to exhibits and general and info sessions. For access to your choice of three sessions from the Conference Program, you can add a Session 3-Pack for just $150.  

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