Lecture capture software has become cemented in the technology stack of nearly every educational institution today. More than 4 in 5 American colleges and universities now use lecture capture technology to some degree.

Yet while learning technologists, instructional designers, and administrators alike have largely embraced video-supported learning in order to enhance the student experience, there remain some educators still skeptical of lecture capture’s benefits. From the perceived potential for decreased attendance to whether or not such technology has a positive impact on student achievement, there have long been debates around the most common objections to lecture capture.

Anecdotes aside, we were curious what the data had to say about the impact of lecture capture. So we went digging. We uncovered 75 studies performed between 2003 and 2019 (all cited at the bottom of this post), and examined the meta-trends in prominent lecture capture research. 

Of the 75 lecture capture studies:

  • 34 included a review of the impact of lecture capture on attendance, 
  • 15 included measurement its effect on student achievement, and 
  • 51 included analysis of how students perceive lecture capture. 

So: what has all that research found?

3 Big Trends From Over A Decade Of Lecture Capture Research

1. Lecture capture almost never negatively impacts attendance

Possibly the single most common objection to lecture capture is that if a video of the lecture is available, students won’t have a reason to actually attend class. 

According to the data, however, faltering attendance is exceptionally uncommon.

Of the 34 studies that covered this topic, only four found that the availability of recorded lectures led to a decrease in attendance. Of those four, three reported the impact had been “slight” or “marginal”. Only one study reported a substantial negative impact.

The other 88% of available studies that measured attendance found that the availability of lecture capture had “little or no” negative impact. Notably, one of the studies to report this finding was a meta-analysis of 47 other research articles, further suggesting that the availability of recorded lectures is very unlikely to result in reduced attendance. 

In short, students continue to see value in attending their courses in person, and with only a few exceptions, will continue to attend in person even when a recording of those courses is available. 

Impact of lecture capture on attendance

2. The availability of recorded lectures is correlated with higher grades

Alongside student and/or faculty demand, many institutions that have adopted lecture capture have done so in order to provide students with a resource that may help improve their performance and achievement. At its most straightforward, the hope is that recording lectures will provide students with a much more detailed means to revisit what was discussed in any particular class session than could ever reasonably be captured in manual notes, and that being able to access that much more detailed resource to clarify questions when studying should help students do better on tests and earn higher grades. 

So does it? While it’s important to point out that correlation doesn’t imply causation, the data does indicate that better student outcomes and lecture capture go hand-in-hand.

Of the 15 studies that measured the impact that making lecture recordings available for review had on student achievement:

  • 10 found that the availability of lecture capture was correlated with higher grades, 
  • 4 found no correlation one way or the other, and 
  • 1 found that the availability of lecture capture negatively affected grades. Interestingly, this same study was the outlier mentioned in the section above that reported a substantial negative impact on attendance.

Of course, there are many reasonable explanations for why student performance is generally improved in classes where lecture capture is available. Faculty matter, and it may well be that faculty that are more likely to utilize available technologies are also more likely to find other creative ways to bolster performance. Dozens of other reasonable explanations no doubt exist as well. 

But in so far as the subject has been studied, student performance and the availability of lecture recordings do appear to be positively aligned. 

Impact of Lecture Capture on Student Achievement

3. Students unanimously agree that lecture recordings are useful

It should be no surprise that students, on average, would report that having recordings of their lectures available for later review is useful to their studies. In general, students will always prefer having more materials and resources available for review than fewer. 

But we also know from statistical research that unanimous results are a surprise. In any population there’s virtually always a holdout, a cynic, a critic. 

Which is why is it perhaps surprising that of the 51 studies that explicitly addressed whether or not students found lecture recordings to be useful, every single one — all 51 studies — reported that students view lecture recordings to be a valuable resource.

So just how are students using lecture recordings? Actually, in a variety of ways:

  • In 28 of the studies that examined how lecture recordings are used, students said they use them as a study aid
  • 23 of the studies showed students use recorded lectures to review difficult material, and 
  • 20 showed them to also be helpful if a student missed a class.

Of course, as the math indicates above, those uses are not mutually exclusive. Students could and did report that recorded lectures served a number of valuable uses in their studies. 

How students use lecture recordings
 

With almost every new study, the data only becomes more clear: recording lectures and making them available for students is a valuable service that students appreciate — one that has no detriment to traditional attendance and that may actually help improve student performance. 

Ready To Provision More Of Your Classrooms For Lecture Capture?

Lecture Capture eBookIf you’re looking to expand the availability of lecture recordings to more courses, Panopto’s flexible lecture capture system makes it easy to scale lecture capture and provision any room on campus.

Download our Lecture Capture eBook to learn how, or contact us to request a free trial today.

 

 

 

 

Dive Into The Lecture Capture Data Yourself

Below you’ll find the complete list of lecture capture studies referenced in this analysis. Links are included where available.

 

Study Authors Year
Lecture Capture in Engineering Classes: Bridging Gaps and Enhancing Learning Al-Anashash & Gunn 2013
Does lecture capturing impact student performance and attendance in an introductory accounting course? Aldamen, Al-Esmail, Hollindale 2015
Lecture Capture at Newcastle University Ansell, Summerside 2013
Student Use of Recorded Lectures Karnad 2013
Panopto Lecture Capture Pilot Study Bagby 2011
Audio recordings of lectures as an e-learning resource Balfour 2006
Effects of Lecture Capture on a Large First-Year Engineering Course Bazylak, McCahan, Weiss 2012
Impact of Online Lecture Capture on Student Outcomes in a Therapeutics Course Bollmeir 2010
Enabling a Comprehensive Teaching Strategy: Video Lectures Brecht & Ogilby 2008
Explorations in course-casting: Podcasts in higher education Bryans Bongey, Cizadlo, Kalnbach 2006
Creating opportunities for students in large cohorts to reflect in and on-practice Cooner 2010
Lecture capture at Aberystwyth University Davies, Hagen 2011
Lecture capture: making the most of face to face learning Davis 2009
Lecture Capture: Student Opinion and Implementation Strategy DeAngelis 2009
Staff and student views of lecture capture: a qualitative study Dommett, Gardner, van Tilburg 2019
Lecture streaming: Getting the pedagogy right. Donnan, Kiley, McCormack 2004
A study exploring the impact of lecture capture availability and lecture capture usage on student attendance and attainment Edwards, Clinton 2018
Evaluating the use of lecture capture using a revealed preference approach Elliott & Neal 2015
Use of Lecture Recordings in Medical Education Franklin 2011
Using Video Lecture Capture systems to enhance teaching in high DFW courses at WSSU Galvis, Kump, Overholt, Adams 2010
Alternative learning technologies for students with special educational needs. Giliberti 2012
Student test scores are improved in a virtual learning environment Goldberg & McKhann 2000
Students and recorded lectures: survey on current use and demands for higher education. Gorissen 2012
The Impact of Web-Based Lecture Technologies on Current and Future Practices in Learning and Teaching Gosper 2008
The New Imperative for Lecture Capture Systems in Higher Education Greenberg & Nilssen 2009
Examining the Use of Lecture Capture Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning Groen 2016
Profcasts and Class Attendance – Does Year in Program Matter Holbrook & Dupont 2009
What is the academic efficacy of podcasting Heilesen 2010
If You Post It, Will They Come? Lecture Availability in Introductory Psychology Hove & Corcoran 2008
Medical Students’ Perception of the Usage of Lecture Recording Software Hussain, Tabrez, Basu, D’Silva 2018
Individual differences in students’ use of optional learning resources Inglis 2011
“But they won’t come to lectures…” The Impact of Audio Recorded Lectures on Student Experience and Attendance Larkin 2010
Delivery of e-Lectures Lavelle 2006
Promoting understanding using a virtual learning environment Law 2005
Evaluating the use and impact of lecture recording in undergraduates Leadbeater 2013
Does digital scholarship through online lectures affect student learning? Kinash 2015
An emerging mobile learning tool in nursing education and students’ satisfaction. Maag 2006
You, me and iLecture McElroy & Blount 2006
A Review of Podcasting in Higher Education: Its Influence on the Traditional Lecture McGarr 2009
How video lecture capture affects student engagement in a higher education computer programming course: A study of attendance, video viewing behaviours and student attitude Mcgowan & Hanna 2015
Video Lecture Capture Technology Helps Students Study without Affecting Attendance in Large Microbiology Lecture Courses McLean, Suchman 2016
Lecture recordings to support learning: A contested space between students and teachers Morris, Swinnerton, Coop 2018
A three year case study of using audio to blend the engineer’s learning environment Nortcliffe & Middleton 2008
Turn up, tune in, don’t drop out: The relationship between lecture attendance, use of lecture recordings, and achievement in different levels of study Nordmann, Calder, Bishop, Irwin, Comber 2017
Lecture Capture in Higher Education: Time to Learn from the Learners Nordmann, McGeorge 2018
The Use of Lecture Recordings in Higher Education: A Review of Institutional, Student, and Lecturer Issues O’Callaghan, Neumann, Jones, Creed 2017
Learning analytics and study behaviour : A pilot study Phillips 2011
Using academic analytic tools to investigate studying behaviours in technology-supported learning environments Phillips 2010
Evaluation of Student Engagement with a Lecture Capture System Pons, Walker, Hollis, Thomas 2012
Lecture capture: Current research and future directions. Pursel & Fang 2012
Using student generated audio to enhance learning Rossiter, Nortcliffe, Griffin, and Middleton 2009
Does streaming of a lecture result in empty seats? Russell & Mattick 2005
Exploring the Role of Videos in Medical Education Curriculum: A Two Year Study in Cardiothoracic Anatomy Sajan, Torre, Caceres, Laurance, Marquez 2019
Live lecture versus video podcast in undergraduate medical education Schreiber 2010
Lecture capture: rich and strange, or a dark art? Secker, Bond, Grussendorf 2010
Does lecture capture make a difference for students in traditional classrooms Settle 2011
Why don’t students attend lectures and what can be done about it through using iPod nanos? Shannon 2006
Non‐native english language speakers benefit most from the use of lecture capture in medical school Shaw & Molnar 2011
Evaluation of modes of electronic delivery of construction management courses Sher & Gajendran 2008
An exploration into the reactions of undergraduate students to virtual lectures. Signor 2003
Impact of video recorded lectures among students Soong 2006
Use of lecture recordings on attendance and achievement Spittaels & Vanacker 2019
Video lecture capture (VLC) system: A comparison of student versus faculty perceptions Toppin 2010
Impact of Class Lecture Webcasting on Attendance and Learning Traphagan 2010
Podcasting, student learning, and expectations Tynan & Colbran 2006
Insights regarding undergraduate preference for lecture capture Veeramani & Bradley 2008
Lecture attendance and web based lecture technologies : A comparison of student perceptions and usage patterns Von Konsky 2009
Podcasting in education: Are students as ready and eager as we think they are? Walls 2010
Evaluating Student Use Patterns of Streaming Video Lecture Capture in a Large Undergraduate Classroom Whitley-Grassi 2017
Lecture Capture – The Early Qatar Experience Wilbur, Jewesson 2010
The Lectopia service and students with disabilities Williams 2006
Lecture recordings: extending access for students with disabilities Williams & Fardon 2007
On-demand internet-transmitted lecture recordings: attempting to enhance and support the lecture experience. Williams & Fardon 2005
Use of Lecture Capture in Undergraduate Biological Science Education Wiese & Newton 2013
Web‐based lecture technologies: blurring the boundaries between face‐to‐face and distance learning Woo 2008

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Published: August 23, 2019