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Online Access to Higher Education on YouTubeEDU


Purpose: The purpose of this one-year longitudinal study is to examine the usage and production of educational videos on YouTubeEDU, an open, video-sharing, educational area of YouTube established in 2009 and used primarily by institutions of higher education. The aim of the YouTubeEDU project is to provide free global access to higher education videos. Analysis from a library science perspective is valuable to further development of YouTubeEDU.

Design/methodology/approach: From August 2010 to July 2011, the top 50 video clips were recorded monthly. YouTubeEDU loosely arranged clips according to the number of site visits and classified them into 13 disciplines: business, education, engineering, fine arts and design, health and medicine, history, humanities, journalism and media, law, literature, mathematics, science, and social science. Analysis of subject area and content correspondence was conducted using YouTubeEDU-assigned, creator-defined, and study-specific attributes.

Findings: The majority of top videos per month were university public relations materials. Overall, 40 percent of the videos were academically-oriented; English is the predominant language. Even some videos contributed by non-English-speaking higher education institutions were in English. The researchers also discovered misclassification of videos in several disciplines.

Research limitations/implications: Based on the researchers' monthly observations, future collaboration with the YouTubeEDU project is needed to collect comprehensive data regarding worldwide visitor traffic and higher education video contributions.

Originality/value: Many areas needed improvement in the YouTubeEDU project; the proposed changes would ensure that the quality and utility of videos meet the standards of higher education institutions while embracing the needs of global learners.


Library and Learning Resources

Keywords and Phrases

E-learning; Higher education; Learning; Open access; Pedagogical design; Social media; YouTubeEDU

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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