Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bandwidth and Data Usage of On-line Education

Marshall Cowan, Operations Manager at NetSpot Pty Ltd complied very useful estimates of "Bandwidth and Data Usage of Wimba Classroom". These estimates are likley to hold for other real-time ("synchronous" in education terms) on-line education products. Four cases are presented, all for a typical 40 minute session:
  1. Just listening, not video: 4kBps, 9.4MB.
  2. Just listing and watching video: 20kBps, 46.88MB.
  3. Just listing to a prerecorded session, with no video: 2.5kBps, 5.9MB.
  4. Just listing and watching prerecorded video: 16kBps, 37.5MB.

An interesting aspect of this is the lower bandwidth and total data for prerecorded sessions. This is because better compression can be used. Just as students can assimilate information better if given more time, so can computers. ;-)

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