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Online learning official: Video lectures help students ‘review, review, review’

By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor
October 20th, 2010

Moloney said more UMass Lowell classrooms will have lecture capture systems soon.

Moloney said more UMass Lowell classrooms will have lecture capture systems soon.

Jacqueline Moloney wants college students to do less transcribing and more listening.

Moloney, executive vice chancellor and head of online learning at the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus, has overseen an effort to make lecture capture technology a standard feature in the university’s classrooms, along with a host of other technologies that can be tailored to fit instructors’ preferences.

Along with a suite of other technologies—digital document cameras and interactive LCD touch screens among them—about one-third of UMass Lowell’s classrooms have been equipped with lecture capture programs that, Moloney said, let students “review, review, review” by rewinding the video lectures and hashing over complex concepts.

Furiously jotting down every key point that instructors make, she said, isn’t for everyone.

“I personally love to take notes,” said Moloney, who has headed UMass Lowell’s online learning program since it launched in 1996. “But with lecture capture, we find that students are able to focus and listen to what faculty members are explaining, versus having to scribble down every single word.”

She added: “You lose a lot of what the faculty is trying to teach you when you focus more on transcribing. With , students don’t feel nearly the pressure to take down every word.”

(Next page: How UMass Lowell is using video lectures—and what students say about this)

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