Lecture recording is becoming more established in Higher Education with 71% of institutions reporting using it in 2016 (UCISA, 2016) and many moving towards an opt out system.
At LSE an increasing number of courses are using lecture recording to support students. In 2016/17, 6445 lectures were recorded (a 12.7% rise in recordings from 2015/6) and with over 5000 recordings already completed this academic year we are on track to record an additional 25% more content for 2017/18.
Despite the expansion in the use of lecture recording there is still a concern amongst some academic staff that recording lectures will lead to a decrease in lecture attendance. These Academics should be relieved to hear about the results of a recent study at the University of Aberdeen by Emily Nordmann, Colin Calder, Paul Bishop, Amy Irwin and Darren Comber, published in January 2018 the team found “no evidence for a negative effect of recording use, or that attendance and recording use were related”. The study spanned four years of an Undergraduate programme in order to review the impact of attendance, lecture recording and student attainment. They concluded that lecture recordings were the most beneficial for first year undergraduates, particularly non native speakers. Weaker students gained from supplementary use of recordings but only the stronger students were able to use the recordings to overcome the impact of low attendance. These differences were not present in the second year onwards as “attendance and recording use were positively correlated with, but no longer predictive of, achievement”.
Students’ use of lecture capture
These findings have been reinforced by recent analysis of LSE lecture recording statistics and interviews and surveys with LSE students for five core first year undergraduate courses.
The study carried out by student research assistants for LTI found that:
- the majority of students watch the whole lecture once and then repeat and re-watch at points of difficulty with the number of views for this purpose being significantly higher for quantitative subjects
- Very few students used lecture recordings as a replacement for attendance, preferring to use it as a revision tool or where they had valid reasons to miss the lecture (such as a clash). This complementary role for lecture recording came through very strongly in the quantitative data;
“This [lecture recording] is still far more useful than merely having the lecture to depend on – I’ve literally watched certain parts of a lecture 6-8 times just to make sure I absolutely understand the content of the lecture. I usually watch each lecture at least twice as well”.
(Comment from EC102 student, EC102, is the most watched course in the School, with students watching each lecture on average seven times over the academic year. The most watched lecture was Week 11 of EC210 which was watched just over 5000 times.)
This use of lecture recordings to supplement lecture attendance is not restricted to the Social Sciences. In 2013 Peter Reed conducted a survey on lecture recording with 840 students at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool. He found 92% of respondents wanted to be able to access recordings to clarify aspects they didn’t understand in class, and 87% would use them to prepare for summative assessment. Accessing recordings instead of going to lectures was of interest to only a small proportion of students (7%).
Additionaly an LTI literature review in 2013 illustrated that students in most studies preferred access to live lectures, with most preferring a blended format incorporating lecture recordings, live lectures, course materials and additional classes.
Lecture recording at LSE
At LSE the Echo360 lecture recording system is currently installed in 43 rooms. Teachers that are timetabled to lecture in a room with recording devices installed are able to schedule lecture recording on LSEForYou, if the teacher opts in the recordings are automatically recorded and can be made available to students on Moodle using the Echo360 Activity.
The recording displays the audio and video of the screen/visualiser in classrooms and the projector and presenter in larger lecture theatres. See the LTI website for a list of room with lecture capture devices.
Next steps for lecture recording at LSE
LTI are working with AV and IMT to improve the quality of lecture recordings and are currently working on creating various resources to help lecturers to use lecture recording facilities.
IMT AV recently upgraded the hardware in Clements House lecture rooms in order to improve audio and video quality. There are further development plans for lecture recording capable rooms starting with 32LIF which is due for an upgrade over the easter break. Longer term the new LSE buildings should increase the capacity for lecture recording.
LTI are also working with various teams around the school such as timetables and LFY to solve the inability to automatically schedule seminars that are taught in a lecture style. We are hopeful to have this resolved for the next Michaelmas term.
Alongside making constant improvements to the system we are also looking to innovate lecture recording and encourage lecturers to think about how they could use recordings in different ways inclusing using personal capture to produce online resources to support face to face activities. Part two of this post will look at how technology can be used to rethink your lectures and make them more engaging and interactive.
Bond, Steve and Grussendorf, Sonja (2013), Staff Attitudes to Lecture Capture. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
Grummett, D and Appleby-Donald, E (2016, June 1) ‘Does lecture capture enhance learning?’