Lecture Capture in Higher Education–Part 1
“The average professor speaks at 120 words per minute, but students write around 20 words”, says Isaac Segal, CEO of Tegrity Lecture Capture Technology. “Lecture Capture” allows students to concentrate on what is being discussed in a lecture instead of frantically trying to take notes.
Lecture capture is “is an umbrella term describing any technology that allows instructors to record what happens in their classrooms and make it available digitally.” With minimal effort it should enable the lecturer to record their presentation and make it available to the audience either through live streaming or as a digital file after the event.
Today I will start looking at this rather recent development in the field of e-learning. When reading about it I came across more and more new and interesting things. So in the following weeks I will look at advantages of lecture capture, the technology used and some platforms where you can find the results.
Different software solutions can be used for either recording only the presenter when delivering a PowerPoint presentation or with the help of extra camcorders and additional microphones, the presenter and the audience as well. A wireless microphone can be particularly helpful to record the lecturer’s voice.
Today there are thousands of lectures online – not only accessible for enrolled students, but even for a wider public audience. Examples can be found on iTunesU, YouTube EDU or The OpenCourseWare Consortium.
So why would a lecturer want to record the lecture? Well, there are a couple of good reasons to do so:
- Content review: Students benefit from repeated viewing of content, particularly in those areas where the issue or concept being discussed is complex and possibly difficult to grasp after being exposed only once to the idea.
- Missing a class: Students won’t miss anything when they are not able to physically attend lectures, for example for reasons of illness.
- Free up class time for active learning experiences: Lecturers can rethink their use of time with students while students can concentrate on understanding and spend more time in discussion with their peers, instead of focusing on trying to write down everything as they know there is the opportunity to listen again.
- Learning anywhere and anytime: Recordings can be viewed on the web or in formats compatible with MP3 players and portable video devices.
- Building online content: Lecturers can create podcasts, screencasts and videos to build an easy-to-search archive of recorded courses. This also allows a student to cross disciplines by making readily available individual lectures of interest from another department or discipline.
- Professional development: Videos can help lecturers to improve the quality of their teaching when they can actually retroactively “see” and evaluate their performance.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Now some skeptics might argue that students will skip lectures and attendance rates will drop. Actually universities report that lecture capture has little to no impact on class attendance. In surveys, students reported that they still come to class and appreciate that they can use class time much more effectively.
Maike Schansker (schansker[at]unu.vie.edu)
 Ann McClure: “Lecture Capture: A Fresh Look” (April 2008) http://www.universitybusiness.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=1043
 University of Massachusetts-Lowell study on impact of lecture capture: www.echo360.com/customers/umass.asp, University of Wisconsin-Madison survey of students on lecture capture: www.uwebi.org/news/uw-onlinelearning.pdf; http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/CRLT_no27.pdf