Statistics of the videos of my lectures

In Spring 2012 I took the decision of regularly posting videos of my lectures in my YouTube channel (lectures are collected into playlists). I realized that it is relatively simple to bring in the classroom a camera with a tripod (which I bought myself because the university could not justify such expense), and it is actually straightforward to upload the videos soon after the lecture.

I decided to post the videos as they are, without any editing. They are not professional online classes, but rather supporting material. Therefore, they are not meant to be a substitution of the lectures, but rather a means to revisit their content online and combine that with the tutorials that I decided to present as open web pages.

After 6 years, I am pleased to conclude that I believe the experience was successful. I received appreciation from students, not only from my university. Some lectures are given in English and therefore I got some comments from foreign students as well. The result of my experience are unconditionally positive and therefore I am making an effort to convince my colleagues to videotape their lectures as well.

Some of them have reservations, as they complain that some of the videos are not clearly visible as the lecture rooms do not lend themselves to self-made video recording. I realize that, but the satisfaction of the students is a strong enough motivation for me to continue.

I think academic education should be truly open. The web gives today unprecedented opportunities to reach out, which we often do not fully profit from. Let's take advantage from them to make education internationally available to students at the global level. Promoting the disclosure and the global diffusion of culture is a truly praiseworthy endeavour that will benefit humanity in the long term.

After 6 years I collected almost 100.000 views of my lectures. The sample size is therefore large enough to allow the presentation of interesting statistics, which are kindly elaborated by YouTube. I collected data on gender, country and age of visitors which are presented in the figures below. The first figure refers to the whole period of my activity while the second refers to the last 365 days, to highlight changes along time.

Lifetime YouTube statistics

Lifetime YouTube statistics

The number of visits did not increase much, as the number of students themselves did not significantly change. There is a percentage of international views which may look limited. In my opinion it is significant, especially if one takes into account that more than half of the lectures is in Italian.

Regarding the age distribution, there has been an increase in time of the attendance in the 35-44 age range, especially by women. Gender balance is slightly improved (18% for the whole period, 21% in the last year). These statistics match those given by the number of students in my Department, which focuses on Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Material Engineering.

I hope the above numbers may provide useful information and may inspire more colleagues to adopt a similar approach.

Thank you for your interest.