Desktop Videoconferening (DVC) has been shown to effectively support remote tutorials, but specific video channel requirements are not known. There is a perception that higher levels of image quality will enhance the effectiveness of the tutorial, and this has implications on scarce network bandwidth. If it can be shown that low levels of image quality are not detrimental to learning opportunities, then the use of DVC will be more attractive to institutions inhibited by fear of high network demands.
Limitations in current methods for assessing video channel quality are discussed, and a new scheme for tutorial content quality analysis is outlined. The scheme has been applied to data gathered from a trial involving 30 students studying for an accredited university module. The results show that increasing the quality of the video channel resulted in no measurable increase in the quality of dialogue within the tutorials. The conclusions are that low quality images are not necessarily detrimental, and therefore DVC could be endorsed more readily where bandwidth is limited.