Successfully Using Lecture Capture

Does lecture capturing software help students learn? Engaging Lecture Capture: Lights, Camera…Interaction! is an article published by Educause Quarterly that seeks to answer this question. With not much research being done on the subject of lecture capturing, many institutions are wondering if lecture capturing software (and, in turn, hardware) will be a good investment.

The article highlights a few studies in which students were surveyed about their feelings towards recorded lectures as a supplement to class. In one survey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “82 percent of the students would prefer a course in which lecture content is recorded, and 60 percent were willing to pay extra to have this technology available to them”. Temple University’s surveys showed even higher approval by both students and faculty: 95 percent said they preferred a course with recorded lectures. Students at both institutions also mentioned that they enjoyed the benefits of having the lecture on hand to catch up on missed classes or review course material before a test.

Despite overwhelming student satisfaction, it is still unclear whether captured lectures benefit students’ test scores and grades. Studies at both the University of Texas-Austin and Coppin State University have revealed that there was no clear difference in grades between students in classes using lecture capture vs. students in classes not using lecture capture.

At this point, the big question is how do we maximize the benefits of lecture capturing in higher education? What’s the best way to implement this technology so that it can be a success? Below, I will highlight some of the answers and tips EQ provides (for those interested in getting more in-depth answers to this question, definitely give the original article a read):

  • Use a lecture capturing system that requires minimal faculty intervention. With lecture capturing software, it should not be required for faculty to be tech experts to use the software. After all, faculty have enough to focus on while teaching class.
  • “Develop clear guidelines regarding the use of lectures and communicate them to faculty before a course begins.”
  • Train instructors on best practices. For best results, faculty should be trained and given time to explore how the lecture capturing software will work with their teaching styles. Give them tips on how to use it best and a heads up on any errors they may encounter.
  • Emphasize practice for faculty and tech support staff before the recording starts. Make sure faculty members know where the camera is pointed, the sound quality is good, and all the hardware is working correctly.
  • Ask faculty to watch recordings after they are published. This way, faculty can learn and improve on any mistakes made.
  • Interactivity. Possibly one of the most important tips. Allow faculty and students opportunities to interact after the lecture has ended. This includes either in-class discussions or activities, and/or following up online (discussion boards, chat, blogs).