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Mediasite Mobile

Survey: As New Generation Enters College, Artificial Intelligence Offers Potential for Netflix Model for Learning

MADISON, Wis. — Sept. 10, 2018 — Today’s digital native students still crave a traditional developmental college experience, but institutions must figure out what that looks like in a fast-paced world. Technologies like streaming video have an unparalleled ability to deliver information where and when students want it.

It’s against this backdrop that Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted global leader for video creation and management solutions, releases results of a national survey with University Business. The survey reveals massive potential in higher education for artificial intelligence to offer Generation Z the Netflix model for learning, à la using AI to suggest relevant videos and build personalized playlists. Higher education leaders indicated that when it comes to using AI in video to improve student outcomes:

  • 66 percent think about using AI to leverage student data (video viewing, grades, study habits, course enrollment, financial aid, extracurricular activities, etc. ) to personalize learning
  • 44 percent think about using AI for recommending videos/information based on student interests

“Using AI to enhance education and personalize information flow has enormous potential. Schools can learn a lot from the Netflix model of learning. The more you use Netflix, the smarter it gets about personal preferences, making informed decisions about what you should watch. The future of learning will consider student preferences like how and when they want to learn and on what device,” said Rob Lipps, Executive Vice President, Sonic Foundry.

Lipps continued: “We’re seeing faculty and students watch Mediasite videos more than 35 million times per year. That means the need to index and search all of that content has never been greater. Mediasite has the unique ability to create intelligent, dynamic and secure video portals based on viewer preferences. Paired with artificial intelligence applications like IBM Watson speech-to-text, institutions have more accessible videos and deeper insights than ever before about student data.”

That demand to index academic video to ensure accessibility and create 100 percent searchable content is evident:

  • 90 percent of respondents believe current and future students will expect easily accessible on-demand academic videos
  • Nearly half, 42 percent, said it is difficult for faculty and students to find relevant videos
  • 67 percent said using AI to suggest relevant videos and build playlists would be most helpful, followed by 58 percent who want to organize video by keyword; 56 percent want to automate speech-to-text transcription in the video
  • Only 18 percent indicated present use of speech-to-text to create more accessible course content, with 29 percent planning to in the future

“The possibilities for how technology can personalize learning are endless,” said Kurt Eisele-Dyrli, research editor for UB. “This survey showed that higher education leaders see a lot of potential specifically in the combination of AI and academic video to create personalized education on a new level. It’s going to be fascinating to see how colleges and universities will use these tools in the future.”

See the full results here. 

Survey Methodology:
This survey was developed in partnership between University Business (UB) and Sonic Foundry, and deployed via email to the UB subscriber audience in August 2018. Over 300 higher education leaders responded from around the country.

About University Business
University Business is the leading publication for higher education management, and is received by over 75,000 college and university leaders at virtually every institution in the U.S.

About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.

Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Madison, Wis., Sonic Foundry (OTC: SOFO) is dedicated to transforming how the world works and learns through innovative and scalable technology solutions. Sonic Foundry’s brands include Vidable® and Global Learning Exchange® which help unlock a smarter, more connected world for learners, workers, and entrepreneurs everywhere. For more information visit


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Media Relations Jaimee Pitt Community & Events Manager 608.216.7592
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