Study: Online Video Assessment Participation in Higher Education Doubled Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Participation among students and educators was already trending up pre-pandemic, but the necessity of online learning and assessment dramatically accelerated the trend

OREM, Utah — November 2, 2021 — GoReact today released a report revealing that online video assessment adoption and participation in higher education was accelerating pre-pandemic, and COVID-19 triggered exponential growth. The study analyzed usage data from thousands of instructors and students who use GoReact at hundreds of higher education institutions across the country. 

“Over the last decade, the overall trend has been toward a more technology-enhanced learning experience,” said Ken Meyers, GoReact’s founder and CEO. “Sometimes catalysts accelerate trends already in motion, and we’ve certainly seen this phenomenon with video assessment amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed this movement years into the future almost overnight.”

The study analyzed participation and engagement data from 2018 to 2021. Key findings include:

  • Online video assessment in higher education was already trending up prior to COVID, but the pandemic significantly accelerate the trend:
    • 100% increase in instructor participation from spring 2020 to fall 2020
    • 125% increase in student participation from spring 2020 to fall 2020
  • Online courses and videos spiked in early months of pandemic in 2020 as institutions pivoted to emergency remote instruction:
    • 339% increase in new courses in March 2020 vs. March 2019
    • 84% increase in new videos in April 2020 vs. April 2019
  • Adoption continued growing in 2021, despite initial returns to in-person learning, with increased video creation indicating deeper adoption as well:
    • 23% increase in new courses in spring semester 2021 vs. spring semester 2020
    • 60% increase in new videos in spring semester 2021 vs. spring semester 2020

The study also looked at adoption and participation trends by academic discipline, revealing some surprising findings. Nursing and performing arts — both of which had only modest adoption pre-pandemic — saw by far the largest increases between spring 2019 and spring 2021, at 1,101% and 1,244%, respectively. 

“We’ve been inspired by the adaptability of educators and students in response to an event that disrupted every facet of daily life, including learning and assessment in disciplines typically relegated to the physical classroom,” Meyers said. “We’re especially proud to play a small role in helping vital frontline healthcare professionals demonstrate competency and get credentialed at a time when their services are more vital than at any period in recent memory.”

The GoReact study follows a January 2021 report from the Tambellini Group that listed video-based assessment as one of four prominent tech trends in video learning. The report notes that COVID-19 placed more urgency on educators and IT leaders in higher education to develop and deploy strategies that respond to a rapidly maturing “hybrid-flexible learning landscape.”

The full report on adoption and participation in online video assessment is available for free here.

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