Lecture Capture: Current Use, Contemporary Research and Best Practices

During the academic year 2014-15, the lecture-capture system at CVM recorded 1,510 videos in 43 courses, and Veterinary Information Systems (VIS) reports the following use of those videos:

• 46,636 total plays
• 181 average plays per day
• 64 average viewers per day
• A viewing high of 602 plays per day.
• Videos viewed from 11 different countries.
• Videos viewed on 13 different types of devices.

It’s not hard to guess when the peaks for viewing lecture capture took place: right before midterm examinations and right before finals. In this sense, CVM students use lecture capture as a study tool.

This falls in line with research on lecture capture and learning. In “Is the effectiveness of lecture capture related to teaching approach or content type?” Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine researcher Jared Danielson and his colleagues (2014) studied the topic.

They found that lecture capture aids learning in straight-lecture, fact-focused contexts, and that students perceive it in helping them learn under these circumstances. The more interactive the sessions, the less students used lecture capture as a review tool.

Findings of other studies show obvious contradictions:

• Lecture capture technology has enhanced student performance in some fields.
• Lecture capture shows no measurable impact in other contexts.
• Student attendance decreases in lecture-captured courses.
• Low-performing students benefit more/or benefit less from the presence of lecture capture.
• There’s an increasing popularity of lecture capture technology among students.
• There’s an increasing demand for additional technology features to accompany lecture capture.

So how should we think about lecture capture at CVM?

The Office of Teaching & Learning has suggested to students that lecture capture is used most effectively to catch up after a missed class session or to aid in comprehension and retention if used strategically. We have encouraged students to review sections of lectures that address complex concepts they have identified. Moreover, this review should take place at regularly scheduled intervals in their study plan, and not simply before a high stakes assessment (midterm or final).

The value of lecture capture from an instructional standpoint relates to the ability of faculty to review their own pedagogical approaches and presentation styles and to reflect on the effectiveness of any changes to a lecture or activity. And while faculty cannot currently see “hotspots” on their lectures (where students stop and review material most frequently), they can gage which ones are viewed most often — perhaps indicating where particularly difficult concepts are presented or where student confusion exists. (Top plays for a single lecture capture last year numbered 218).

In other words, the value of lecture capture is related to the way faculty and students use it. Moreover, from an educational technology standpoint, its failure rate (only 4%) makes it a reliable teaching and learning resource at the college.

Danielson, J. Preast, V., Bender, H., and Hassall, L. (March 2014). Is the effectiveness of lecture capture related to teaching approach or content type? Computers & Education, 72. 121-131. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131513003011.

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