Showcased and captured

Yesterday City University’s learning development centre – that’s the people who operate across the university looking at good practice and innovative approaches to teaching and learning – held a showcase. It was cleverly arranged, with a carefully staged debate at the start about whether assessment methods in universities were really fit for purpose.Me using Moodle on a Macintosh 

As the title of the event suggests, it was arranged with stalls where participants from different parts of the university demonstrated what they were doing.  Like many universities, we use Moodle to support and organise learning materials on the web and the photo here (courtesy of the learning development centre’s Twitter feed) has me  looking intently at the Moodle screen for part of our first year Business Studies module.  I, and my immediate colleagues, were there to talk about the first year experience at university and also about the potential, using tools such as Moodle, for monitoring patterns of student use of the web.

But we were sandwiched between two stalls looking at video capture of lectures.  As it happens, one of them covers work by the economics department, who have been capturing lectures including some of mine, so students have the option of viewing lectures online. 

There are some interesting issues around video capture of lectures in a university based around face-to-face tuition.  Will students stay at home because they can see lectures online? (anecdotally the people I’ve spoken to think not)  or will it challenge students to think deeply about when it is worth their while physically coming to university, and why?  Should lecturers try to stay within view of the camera – difficult if, as in my case, it’s taking place in a room which has been set up with clusters of tables to encourage interaction?  Where students contribute, for instance by giving presentations, should their contributions be captured?  (I’ve given my students the choice but it’ll be interesting to see what they choose, given that there are presentations later on in the term).  How time consuming would the process of video editing become?  And should we be thinking about providing lecture material for iTunes university?

Incidentally one of the neatest touches is that the e-learning specialists supporting this exercise have QR codes against their names on their website…

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One Response to “Showcased and captured”

  1. Mo Pamplin Says:

    Hi Martin,

    I have been enjoying reading your blog, thanks for writing about the showcase – I hope you enjoyed it.

    I really hope we can answer some of your questions about lecture capture this term – does it affect attendance; how adept do lecturers have to become at video editing and thinking about the camera; how can students contribute; and how/should this feed in to iTunes U?

    There’s already quite a lot of evidence on some of these questions. For some anecdotal case studies see Queen Mary’s website section on their lecture capture project (http://www.learninginstitute.qmul.ac.uk/elearning/category/casestudies/). Imperial’s 2009 report on their lecture capture project suggests that attendance was pretty much unaffected by recording lectures, other than to make it easier for students to catch up after unavoidable absence (https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/ict/Public/Services/Elearning/Echo360-project-report.pdf). And a very interesting report from MacQuarie in Australia points to the need to look closely at reasons for changes to attendance anyway (http://mq.edu.au/ltc/altc/wblt/docs/Staff_Guideslines.pdf). I wrote a rather un-scientific review of evidence from some other institutions here: http://estsass.co.uk/2011/08/16/lecture-capture-evidence-from-other-institutions/.

    As to the other things you mentioned, I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts on this over the term. I’m planning a research project to investigate the more “creative” uses to which people can put lecture capture – things like using it for screencasting supplementary resources, only recording parts of the lecture, recording group work for students to review their performance, etc. Perhaps we can share some ideas on this.

    Thanks

    Mo Pamplin
    Education Support Team, Schools of Arts and Social Sciences
    City University London

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