For any university debating the merits of implementing lecture capture, the impact it will have on their students is clearly a key consideration.
Skeptics are concerned that introducing lecture recordings will discourage students from physically attending lectures. Others question whether there is enough evidence that students want educational content delivered via video at all. Conversely, advocates for lecture recording note that it can be a valuable study aid, as students can review learning materials at their own pace. They also highlight the important role video has to play in supporting students who can’t make class or those who speak English as a second language.
But what do students themselves think about video lecture capture?
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.
While many incoming university students don’t have a very developed sense of what technologies will be used to support them during their time at university, recent research shows that most students see the potential benefits of lecture recordings. In a report by JISC in the UK, students were asked about what technologies they expected to have access to when they got to university as well as what they wanted. Video lecture capture ranked highly on many students’ lists of what they would appreciate were it provided.
Once students have reached university and have utilised lecture capture as part of their day-to-day study experience, the technology is almost unanimously seen as an important study aid. As just one example, a Newcastle University lecture capture report 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, has previously written for the Panopto blog expanding on many of these points. He 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.
Access to recorded lectures can be particularly useful for international students who may find it more difficult to follow a lecture not delivered in their mother tongue, as well as for students with certain learning support needs. For instance, another student surveyed made the following comment:
“I have dyslexia and find it very difficult to take notes, listen and understand in lectures. The [lecture capture] system allowed me to listen to complicated lectures for a second time with the ability to pause so I can take notes and digest the information. I found I did better in the modules where I used the system to take additional notes for revision, combined with background reading from textbooks.”
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.