• Academic Technology

Students Really Really Want Teachers To Record Lectures

As more and more students at more and more schools discover how helpful it is to be able to review recorded class lectures while studying, the demand from students for more professors to record class lectures grows stronger.

Just take a look at a few students who expressed their feelings online when their professors didn’t record their lectures:

When Teachers Dont Record Their Lectures

A sample of tweets from disappointed students.  Names were changed to protect the frustrated.

What Makes Recording Lectures So Popular Among Students?

The number one reason students prefer courses with recorded lectures is that they offer a study aid that is second to none. Readings need to be parsed. Notes have to be deciphered. But if a video is available, the students have instant access to information — exactly how their professor shared it the first time — in a format they can rewind, replay, and follow along with in real time. It is the simplest means to revisit complex materials and grasp challenging concepts.

Look at how popular lecture recordings are at examination time in the “minutes viewed” report (available through Panopto’s video analytics feature) that was tweeted by University of Southampton:


Lecture recordings also free up students from the challenge of taking detailed notes, giving them the ability to engage more fully with the lecture without the fear of missing some important fact in their notes. Professors speak at a rate of 120 words per minute — while most students can only write at 20. Recent studies show that note taking not only distracts from learning big overarching concepts, but also helps students forget the details from the lesson.

Ultimately, recording lecture content gives students the ability to personalize their individual learning experience and learn at their own pace. It’s not surprising that the vast majority of students consider lecture capture video to be an important tool in their academic careers.


Students Prefer Courses That Offer Recorded Lectures

While data is relatively new, evidence suggests that students seek out classes with teaching methods that align with their learning style, year after year as they advance through college. If a student has experienced lecture capture in a previous course, they become twice as likely to opt for another lecture capture-enabled course.

Students Prefer Courses That Offer Recorded Lectures


Over the years a number of Panopto customers have surveyed their students directly to find out exactly how and why they use recorded lecture material. Here are some of the findings:

What Do Incoming College Students Think About Lecture Capture?

While incoming college students don’t often have a developed sense of the educational technologies they’ll use during their time at college, recent research shows that most students see the potential benefits of lecture recordings. In a report by JISC in the UK (and here’s the updated 2017 release), students were asked about what technologies they expected to have access to when they got to college as well as what they wanted. Video lecture capture ranked highly on many students’ lists — indicating that they would appreciate lecture recordings if they were provided.

What Do Students Think After They’ve Experienced Lecture Capture?

Once students have utilized lecture capture as part of their day-to-day learning experiences, the technology is almost unanimously seen as an important study aid. A Newcastle University lecture capture report, as an example, revealed that 92% of students thought that having access to recorded lectures was useful.

They also gave qualitative feedback on their use of recorded lectures (powered by Panopto, but known as ReCap at the institution), which included the following comments:

“[Lecture recordings] encouraged independent learning. It allows you to work at your own pace — the fact that you can pause lectures, then look up relevant stuff in a book, whilst at a proper desk allows you to make notes and properly understand topics as you go along.”

“ReCap is perhaps the most useful aide to my uni work. I wish all my lecturers used it.”

Another Newcastle University student, Daniel Doyle, who has previously written for the Panopto blog expanding on many of these points, describes lecture recording as a ‘no-brainer,’ commenting:

“Above all, the students want it — and I believe they will demand it in the future. It has improved my learning experience and it is an extremely valuable resource for exam revision.”

The feelings of the students at Newcastle are echoed at many other institutions that have run similar surveys.

For instance, Aberystwyth University found that 98% of their students found Panopto recordings helpful when they surveyed them. 81% of those students went so far as to say that lecture capture availability would impact their choice of course in the future.

Results from internal surveys at several other universities on the value of lecture capture are graphed in the image below:

How Students Perceive Lecture Capture

It’s clear to see from these university surveys that, for many students, lecture capture is an invaluable tool to help them succeed in their studies. As students become ever more technically-savvy and ever more demanding of their university and how it supports their learning, lecture capture — along with more emergent learning approaches like the flipped classroom and video assessment — are likely to become as integral as the institution’s Virtual Learning Environment.

Related Reading: New Research Reveals Students’ Opinions and Expectations for Lecture Capture


For Lecture Capture Holdouts, The Time To Start Recording Lectures Is Now

As universities prepare to start the new semester, professors who have never recorded a lecture should take a moment to discuss with a colleague how the technology has impacted their classroom, and what it’s meant for their students.

Recording a lecture is easier than ever before. Many universities have the necessary hardware and software installed in most every classroom, and can even schedule recordings to take place automatically. Modern lecture recording tools enable professors to record right from their laptops anytime and anywhere, adding extra cameras or microphones just by plugging them in. These tools even automate video management, taking care of formatting concerns and integrating with an institution’s learning management system (LMS) to ensure every student has easy access to the recordings.

As students experience the value lecture capture can add to their studies, they come to expect this technology in every classroom. Fortunately for professors, while that request may once have required a considerable investment in AV equipment and video production expertise, today just about all it takes to record any lecture is to open up a laptop and click “record.”

How To Set Up Any Room On Campus for Lecture CaptureWe Wrote The Book On Recording Lectures

Whether you’re looking to set up lecture capture in your own classroom or you’re looking to enable video capture anywhere on campus, our latest e-book will guide you through considerations for recording in different spaces, capturing various use cases, and it dives deep into recording equipment options. We even diagram some of the most common lecture capture setup examples. Get the essential guidebook today.

Download Our Free E-book: How To Set Up Any Room For Lecture Capture