Lecture Capture the Debate

Today I attended a Question Time debate on the role out of a Lecture Capture system at the University of Leicester as part of IT Focus Week. The panel included:

  • Alan Cann, arguing against based on the reasons outlined in his blog Science of the Invisible.
  • Micheal Ruben, representing the Students’ Union, arguing for based up the “it what students want“. Essential they want to revisit lecture materials to take notes and to clarify misunderstandings.

The students’ demand is one I completely accept, but considering the arguments, I believe Lecture Capture is a short term, easy solution to larger issue of how to enable learners to engage effectively with subject content during independent study. I also wholeheartedly agree that video is an effective method of achieving this, as Alan argues long videos of whole are not the solution. Short Transition videos/audio clips feeding back and forward are far more effective.

Lecture Capture is quick and easy for the Lecturer, but a very large investment. The creation of these short clips do take a bit of extra effort, but they unlock the potential of the flipped classroom enabling learners to turn-up better prepared and able the utailise contact time with academics through exploratory questioning.Therefore I believe the investment in better multimedia production facilities will enable the creation of quality learning materials, which longer term have better potential for commercialisation (but that’s another debate). Having these facilities and approach can support the up-skilling of staff and students, in highly desired multimedia skills.

I’m not say all these transition media have to be wizz-bang, infact they do not have to be complicated make, here are some quick example:

  • Audio: Windows and iOS both have audio recording software that allow quick recording and export to mp3 files that can be shared. Or, a talking head, utalise a webcam to give learners that personal visual touch. These could be used to explain and feedback on any misunderstood concepts that the academic can identify from assessment.
  • Talking to PowerPoint slides, abridged version of lectures are also effective and if you want to narrate to your slides, you can do this in PowerPoint! Take extra time? Why not record when you “rehearse” before the lecture.

I do also believe there is a place for the wizz-bang and I’m more than aware how long they can take to make (having just completed a series of video for FutureLearn that I’ll be sharing next week when the course launches). I think this gives us a great opportunity to utalise our Students as Partners initiative. I know there are some skilled students out there, furthermore, multimedia production is a desirable transferable skill in the high popular media industry and collaboration with the institution will enable the student to develop and demonstrate these skills. If it needs to be¬†incentivised departments could Commission through Accreditation through extra-curricular recognition on the HEAR or even formal assessment.

I’ll follow this debate closely, what are your thoughts?


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