Facilitating Student Learning with Variable Speed Playback

Video is becoming an essential part of higher education, and a standard part of students’ learning experiences. With this fundamental shift in learning strategies, students are using video in new ways and with the expectation of new tools, including variable speed playback.

Understanding Variable Speed Playback

Variable speed playback is an option in the Platform’s Media Player that allows students to speed up or slow down playback. Depending on the user’s individual needs, they can cover content quickly for review, or more slowly, for increased understanding and retention. Regular speed playback is 1x, but with the Media Player, you can choose speeds from .5x or half normal speed to 4x. Users can easily change speed during the course of playback. 


Speeding Up and Slowing Down Playback

Both speeding up and slowing down playback offer a number of advantages to students. Consider the following use cases:

  • Reviewing Recorded Lectures

Lecture capture isn’t just for online learners. Students may use lecture capture recordings to review classes they attended for improved understanding and retention. When watching a lecture they attended, they may not want to spend as much time watching; doubling playback speed allows a one-hour lecture to complete in only 30 minutes.

  • Preparing for Exams

When it’s time for midterms or final exams, students may want to watch as many lectures as they’re able in their study time. Working your way through a full semester or even half a semester of lectures is challenging at a normal pace, but much more manageable when sped up using variable speed playback. 

  • Online Learning

Students that are using lecture captures without brick-and-mortar classroom time may find it helpful to be able to slow down playback during challenging lectures.  This can offer additional time for understanding and mastery, particularly of technical terminology.  The same strategy is effective for students who are catching up on a missed class.

  • English Language Learners

English language learners are frequently able to master the material and understand lectures much more effectively when they can slow down playback. Reduced speed means slower speech and improved comprehension for these learners. 


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