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Press Release

University of Wisconsin Study Finds Strong Undergraduate Students Preference for Classes with Lecture Capture

MADISON, Wis. – September 23, 2008 – What do today’s undergraduate students expect from their educational experience? Online lectures are moving to the top of the list, according to a new study released by the University of Wisconsin E-Business Institute and Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the recognized market leader for rich media webcasting and knowledge management.

Set against the backdrop of a national trend for webcasting college lectures, the study was designed to understand student attitudes regarding the addition of lecture capture to existing courses. One key finding shows an overwhelming 82 percent of the undergraduates in the sample would prefer a course that records and streams lecture content online vs. courses that only feature in-room instruction.

“Our research confirms that students have an expectation and strong preference for on-demand and active learning,” said Dr. Raj Veeramani, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director and founder of the UW E-Business Institute. “There are also some significant common drivers that academia is wrestling with: first, creating more effective learning outcomes for students and second, accommodating more students from a scalability standpoint. To accomplish this, institutions are increasingly turning to lecture capture technologies that turn a traditional classroom into an instant source of online, interactive content.”

Students reported better retention, improved ability to review for exams and greater engagement during classes with lecture capture. One respondent said, “I would love to have online lectures in addition to normal lectures – focusing on listening and comprehension during class is very important to me and extremely difficult if I am also simultaneously scribbling notes.”

The study also found that undergraduate students:

  • Perceive Multiple Benefits of Having Lectures Webcasted
    Leading reasons undergraduates ranked online-lecture availability as very or somewhat important:

    • Making up for a missed class (93%)
    • Watching lectures on demand for convenience (79%)
    • Improving retention of class materials (78%)
    • Improving test scores (76%)
    • Reviewing material before class (52%)
  • Value Having Course Material Available After Course Completion
    Over half of the undergraduates indicated that, even after course completion, having course material available online would be important and that there was interest in accessing online material in their professional lives.
  • Willingness to Pay for Lecture Capture Services
    Over 60 percent of the sample were willing to pay for lecture capture services. Of those willing to pay, the majority of undergraduates (69 percent) expressed a preference to pay on a course-by-course basis rather than having lecture capture fees bundled with existing technology fees.

The survey was sent to 29,078 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in April 2008 with an average response rate more than 25%. Of the survey participants, a significant number of undergraduates (47%) have taken a class where lectures were recorded and available online. Questions offered multiple choice responses to ten questions related to the value of streaming of lectures and preference for streaming content.

About the UW E-Business Institute
The UW E-Business Institute (UWEBI) is a campus-wide initiative conducting multi-disciplinary research on e-business strategies, emerging information technologies and innovative business practices to help enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin industry. The UWEBI is currently engaged in research projects funded by The National Science Foundation and The National Institutes of Health focused on driving innovation in the packaging, printing and health-care industries.

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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