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The Berkeley Internet Broadcasting System (BIBS) is a lecture webcasting system developed and operated by the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center. The system offers live remote viewing and on-demand replay of course lectures using streaming audio and video over the Internet. During the Fall 2000 semester 14 classes were webcast, including several large lower division classes, with a total enrollment of over 4,000 students. Lectures were played over 15,000 times per month during the semester. The primary use of the webcasts is to study for examinations. Students report they watch BIBS lectures because they did not understand material presented in lecture, because they wanted to review what the instructor said about selected topics, because they missed a lecture, and/or because they had difficulty understanding the speaker (e.g., non-native English speakers). Analysis of various survey data suggests that more than 50% of the students enrolled in some large classes view lectures and that as many as 75% of the lectures are played by members of the Berkeley community. Faculty attitudes vary about the virtues of lecture webcasting. Some question the use of this technology while others believe it is a valuable aid to education. Further study is required to accurately assess the pedagogical impact that lecture webcasts have on student learning.
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