By TETSUHIRO TOYOSHIMA/ Staff Writer
February 26, 2023 at 08:35 JST
Hisashi Ogawa, an associate professor at Hyogo University of Teacher Education, gives a sped-up online lecture in May 2022. (Provided by himself)
Nearly half of university students view pre-recorded videos of professors’ lectures at higher speeds, according to a survey, while one educator has taken a cue from popular YouTubers on the importance of acceleration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only pushed university students online, but it could also be changing teaching methods for the better.
Kindai University in Osaka Prefecture in July 2022 conducted a survey on about 7,000 students of on-demand classes and received valid responses from about 1,200.
Nearly half, or 48.5 percent, said they sped up the online recordings of the lectures. Specifically, 177, or 14.3 percent, said they watched the recordings at 1.25 times the normal speed, while 423, or 34.2 percent, said they sped up the videos by 1.5 times.
The university also found no correlation between viewing speeds and the students’ academic performances.
The average score of respondents who watched the online recordings at the normal speed was 78.
The average score was 77 for those who played the lectures at 1.25 times the normal speed, and 76 for those who viewed the classes at 1.5 times the usual speed.
Keio University in Tokyo started streaming online lectures for its students in 2020.
One student, a sophomore at the time, said she found them boring compared with attending classes on campus.
She decided to watch one of the lectures at a faster speed and found the class surprisingly easy to follow. She started speeding up other online lectures and video content, including TV drama and movies.
The student, now a 23-year-old senior, uses the extra time gained through the practice for her personal viewing pleasure. She fast-forwards videos in 10-second allotments to find interesting scenes, or rewatches her favorite parts at normal speed.
“If I watch just one movie, I’d feel like, ‘What did I do today?’” the student said.
She feels a sense of satisfaction by watching several sped-up movies a day.
“I can gain so much information in one day, and it has boosted my self-esteem,” she said.
More of her friends also watch video content at faster speeds.
She said a classmate only listens to dialogue essential to understand the plot of a movie and skips scenes when there are no words spoken.
Also in this fast-paced world, the student said she was asked to reveal the ending of a horror manga she had just introduced to a friend.
“Incorporating as wide a variety of information as possible helps me become different from others in my generation and gives me an advantage,” she said.
Catering to the growing trend toward speed among his students, Hisashi Ogawa, an associate professor at Hyogo University of Teacher Education in Hyogo Prefecture, now speaks roughly 1.3 times faster than usual when he gives online classes.
His 170 students prefer this teaching style, he said.
In summer 2020, after the novel coronavirus pandemic started, Ogawa received complaints from his students who said they felt sleepy or unmotivated during his online classes.
Searching for ways to keep the students focused, Ogawa noticed that videos posted by influential YouTubers featured pronounced gestures and edited out words like “um” and “well.”
What struck him the most was how fast they talked.
When he emulated the YouTubers during an online class, he received positive responses from his students.
“I could concentrate better than I did in any other class up to now,” one student said.
“It felt upbeat and was easy to hear,” said another.
Ogawa uses the extra time gained from talking faster to recapitulate the points of his lectures and answer questions from students.
“It is a great advantage to be able to deepen their learning,” he said.
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