Home 9 Uncategorized 9 The Digital Toolbox — 2022’s Top-Watched Films in Colleges and Universities Demonstrate the Valuable Role of Video for Curriculum

The Digital Toolbox — 2022’s Top-Watched Films in Colleges and Universities Demonstrate the Valuable Role of Video for Curriculum

by | Feb 13, 2023 | 0 comments


By Jason Tyrrell  (General Manager, Kanopy, San Francisco, CA 94109) 

Column Editor:  Steve Rosato  (Director and Business Development Executive, OverDrive Academic, Cleveland, OH  44125) 

Against the Grain V34#6

As academic institutions seek to inspire thoughtful and meaningful conversations among students and educators, film functions as a powerful tool to provoke both reflection and understanding.  Academia mirrors video trends in general, with streaming services seeing sustained growth in a post-COVID world and being increasingly used to effectively enhance core academic works.

For the first time ever, Kanopy has released its most-viewed films for academic curriculum and the subjects most watched by students and faculty using the service.  This eye-opening list reinforces the unique and valuable role of educational video content within academic curriculum.  Kanopy is the leading streaming video provider for two- and four-year colleges and universities, delivering films that matter to thousands of campuses across the globe.

The top 10 films demonstrate that the focus on race, class, gender and individual identity remains strong in the classroom, reflecting curriculum needs and trends in society as a whole.  Together with the top 10 subjects, the lists show how educators and students consistently turn to streaming video as a resource to gain a deeper understanding of matters that stem from both within and outside us. 

Top films viewed for academic curriculum in 2022 (North America, Kanopy):

Top academic subjects using streaming video in 2022 (North America, Kanopy):

1. Film Studies

2. Race & Class Studies

3. Gender Studies

4. Media Studies

5. Global Studies

6. Education

7. History

8. Sociology

9. Psychology

10. Anthropology

The streaming video medium has grown consistently in popularity in colleges and universities for the past several years.  As such, educators are increasingly using the visual nature of streaming video to reinforce or complete the picture for the foundation established by core written works for the curriculum.  

“These most utilized curricular categories are particularly well suited for institutions who wish to leverage streaming to more deeply explore scholarship around the human experience,” said Kanopy General Manager Jason Tyrrell.  “The top films in the list are just a small example of the strength of the Kanopy catalog, hand curated to empower students and educators to pursue a more thorough, even visceral understanding of the topics being studied.”

Additionally, the top 10 title list illustrates that while educators continue using familiar documentaries to shape their courses, new titles are emerging.  Documentaries known to many humanities undergraduates, like Race–The Power of an Illusion and Miss Representation, are starting to give way to newer, more diversely created films.  Now, highly acclaimed narrative films like Moonlight and Parasite—which present diverse casts and crew and focus on race, class or LGBTQ studies—may point to an emerging trend in cinema as instruction.  This trend sees well-conceived stories serving as vivid, lasting illustrations of points covered in the classroom.

Tyrrell added, “We expect this trend to continue, as our collection development team continues to scour the world for the best new features, documentaries and instructional videos that delve into the mind, behavior and social stratification to address diversity, equity and inclusion.  Educators and students alike can benefit from these films by learning more about themselves and their peers, while expanding their perspectives and challenging accepted beliefs.” 

To learn more about Kanopy for colleges and universities, visit kanopy.com.  


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