Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Higher Education

Lecture Capture: An Effective Tool for Universal Instructional Design?

Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Higher Education

Lecture Capture: An Effective Tool for Universal Instructional Design?

Article excerpt

As higher education enrolment continues to rise in North America, so do the associated challenges (e.g., demands on the existing physical and human resources of universities). The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC, 2007) indicated that Canadian university enrolment is anticipated to increase by 70,000 to 150,000 fulltime students over the next decade. McMaster University's undergraduate enrolment has increased by more than 50% since 2000-2001 (Busch-Vishniac, 2007). There has also been synonymous growth in the prevalence of students with identified disabilities. The number of university students with psychological, physical, and learning disabilities has tripled in the US since the 1970s (Pliner & Johnson, 2004). Similarly, the number of students with disabilities registered in Ontario universities has tripled between 1991- 1992 and 2007-2008 (Council of Ontario Universities [COU], 2010). Accompanying these increases are more requests for accommodation, as well as a classification of needs beyond the classroom.

It is thought that a large number of unreported accommodation needs exist in addition to those formally reported by students. This includes a multitude of student needs beyond the classroom that are often overlooked (e.g., childcare, transportation, family care, and employment). Growth in both the number of formal accommodation requests and the breadth and number of unreported accommodation needs have created a new challenge for universities. Instructors have expressed concern about their ability to meet this range of needs. In many cases, increasing enrolment has already led to larger undergraduate classes than in the past and has put strain on resources. As a result, researchers have begun to investigate how lecture capture technology can address the diverse needs of the current student population while aligning with recent legislation.

Our primary research objective was to understand the perceptions and experiences of students, particularly those with disabilities, with regard to lecture capture technology to evaluate how well the technology aligns with the principles of Universal Instructional Design (UID). Although the sample included a very small number of students with disabilities, we resolved this shortcoming by expanding our focus to examine all students' experiences. Specifically, this case study investigates the ability of lecture capture technology to act as a supplementary delivery mechanism of course material to students. It explores all students' perceptions and experiences with a particular lecture capture technology (echo360), including how these lectures can be mapped to the principles of UID. Finally, the implications of universally accessible course materials will be considered in the context of classroom barriers and accommodation needs of students with disabilities.

In Ontario, new legislation requires that public sector institutions, including universities, make all of their services accessible to all persons with disabilities. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) draws attention to the use of lecture capture technologies as a mechanism for meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The objective of the AODA legislation is to break down barriers by mandating universal accessibility. This proactive legislation requires that barriers be removed by the year 2025 through an incremental integration process. Failure to comply could lead to legal challenges against universities, including complaints under the Human Rights' Code (Ontario Human Rights Code [OHRC], 1990).

AODA represents a more comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework than its predecessor, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (Beer, 2010). The new AODA legislation represents a shiftin values and attitudes about equitable access to many services, including higher education. A commitment to equity, within this context, requires the recognition of students' varying background knowledge, readiness, language, and preferences in learning and interests (Hall et al. …

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