On Thursday 14 June I attended an event organised by the Digital Education Group of the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association which looked at experiences of lecture recording and video for learning in general.
There were presentations from a number of institutions, with academic and learning technology staff sharing their experience. There was also a student panel who discussed their use of the technology.
Typically what was recorded was the presenter’s voice and whatever happened to be on the screen – slides or maybe a visualiser. I’ve worked in a couple of institutions that used Panopto and I’m aware of both the concerns of staff and the enthusiasm of students for the technology, but Thursday’s sessions highlighted some interesting new findings or advantages:
- Students actively listen in the lecture, note key points and then complete their notes from viewing the recordings. As one student said, if he looked through his notes and wondered why he’d written ‘trees’, he could go through the recording, find the relevant bit and amend his notes
- Students actively listening make lectures more engaging for staff – the students are actually looking at you and paying attention!
- The type of questions students ask show a deeper learning
- In one course, the lecturer found that 62% students report reduced anxiety about the module and the number of 1sts and 2.1s increased
- Students mainly watch at home or in student accommodation (mobile viewing still a small part of the picture)
The major problems from the student viewpoint were:
- Lectures not always being recorded (either a technical issue or a module lead not wishing to be recorded – students need to know if something is not being recorded)
- Poor quality or missing sound, either a microphone not working or the lecturer moving away from the lectern
From the staff viewpoint, a couple of concerns and recommendations:
- Students need an induction in how to use the recordings, contextualised by academics in terms of note-taking and revision strategies (eg: watching the whole thing through repeatedly is not a good way to learn)
- Set up a steering group with academics, students, IT, timetabling, estates, AV and learning technology staff
Generally there was agreement among staff and students that lecture recording is a valuable supplement, not a replacement for being present.
Finally Ale Armenelli from the University of Northamption spoke about their model of Active blended learning (below) which dispenses with lecture theatres and lectures.
The largest rooms on the new campus accomodate around 60 people for team based learning activities.
Interestingly they don’t have staff offices either, including the VC. At which the room went strangely quiet, apart from the odd jaw dropping….