Lecture capture remains popular despite controversy, lack of funding

Ten percent of college students said they watched lecture videos more than six times.

Lecture capture technology is thriving in higher education, even after cuts in campus technology budgets and a national political dustup that led at least one university to put severe limitations on how lecture-recording technology could be used.

Campus-based and cloud-based lecture capture systems improved students’ grades, efficiency, and course satisfaction, according to a national survey conducted by Tegrity, maker of a lecture-recording technology known as Tegrity Campus.

The overwhelmingly positive survey results come a year after a conservative media mogul posted lecture-capture video of University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) faculty member advocating violence as a legitimate tool in labor union negotiations. The video, later deemed “highly distorted” by UMKC officials, drew national attention and scorn from a range of conservative media outlets.

The viral lecture video prompted UMKC decision makers to limit the use of lecture capture systems, requiring the explicit permission of professors and students before a class could be recorded.

The university’s restrictions did not become a national model for schools hoping to avoid similar controversy, but 2011 surveys detailed another potential derailment for lecture capture advocates: Stagnant technology budgets. Colleges, according to the Center for Digital Education, have had to employ budgetary gymnastics to maintain money for lecture capture systems.

Controversies and funding aside, lecture capture remains universally popular among college students.

Nine in 10 students said recorded lectures posted to course websites have increased the amount of material they learn during the semester, according to the Tegrity survey. Eighty-five percent of students aid the technology made them more efficient studiers, and 37 percent said they watched lectures twice a week. One in 10 students watched lectures more than six times in a week.

Seven in 10 student respondents said using lecture capture helped improve their final course grades.

About half of the students surveyed were using lecture capture in traditional classrooms, while the other half were enrolled in hybrid or online courses, according to Tegrity.

Campus technologists said late last year they feared the UMKC lecture-capture incident would dampen enthusiasm for an online tool that allows students to watch class lessons several times in one sitting.

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