Smart phones driving lecture capture growth

Mark Smithers, an education-technology blogger who has worked at universities in Australia and the United Kingdom, said in a March blog post that lecture-capture systems might be “the single worst example of poor educational technology use in higher education.”

“The technology does nothing to engage the student who instead of sitting passively in a lecture theatre checking their text messages will now sit passively in front of a screen at home checking their text messages,” Smithers wrote.

College adoption of lecture capture will continue, Smithers wrote, but lecturers who advocate for the technology in every classroom on campus will remain “the exception and not the rule.”

“… [M]ost academics, although they may be good educators, are poor presenters in the lecture theatre,” he continued. “Traditional lectures aren’t designed for online delivery. They’re too long. Their length is designed to fit in with the timetabling constraints of the buildings in which lectures take place, not for any pedagogical reason.”

Being able to skip through large chunks of a recorded lecture and focus on a few main points made in an hour-long class period has made the technology a much-requested part of college courses.

Eighty-five percent of students said in a June survey that using lecture capture made studying for tests and quizzes “somewhat or much more effective than normal,” according to a white paper released by Wainhouse Research.

Three-quarters of student respondents said lecture capture “significantly or somewhat improved their grade” in a course that used the technology.

Greenberg said faculty criticism of lecture capture wouldn’t deter campus technologists from adopting lecture-recording systems and making the video available in most — if not all — classrooms.

“Like any technology, there is faculty resistance, but that resistance crumbles over time once they see the benefits,” Greenberg said.

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