Magazine article University Business

Lecture Capture: Policy and Strategy: What Is Happening to the Pedagogical Process Because of Lecture Capture?

Magazine article University Business

Lecture Capture: Policy and Strategy: What Is Happening to the Pedagogical Process Because of Lecture Capture?

Article excerpt

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THANKS TO LECTURE CAPTURE, JULIA MARTY COMPLETED HER JUNIOR year at Northeastern University (Mass.) this spring, the Office of Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS) offers student-athletes access to videos of missed classes, allowing Marty to compete on Team Switzerland's hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics and not sacrifice her studies. While she missed a month of classes, three of her professors recorded their lectures and "she had an extremely successful spring terra," says Coleen Pantalone, associate dean for undergraduate business. The online access, Marty adds, "gave me the feeling that I didn't miss any classes at all."

In the past, student-athletes would fall behind. A senior varsity baseball player asked faculty athletics representative Fred Wiseman to find a solution. Wiseman partnered with SASS director Lauren DeSantis and came up with the lecture-capture initiative, which includes a Tegrity system to make classroom recordings accessible online for student-athletes to download and view at their convenience. (The general student body also benefits, as any class recorded for a student-athlete is made available to every member of that class.) The initiative was piloted in the fall of 2009 and became a full-time program this spring. "Athletes can miss up to 70 percent of their classes," says Wiseman, a professor in the College of Business Administration, "making it nearly impossible to succeed." Currently, more than 50 faculty members participate; the business school dean funded most of the technology and encourages faculty to get on board.

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Northeastern is not the only higher ed institution using lecture capture to change the way students learn and professors teach. Thanks to the nearly pervasive usage of this technology, schools across the country are using it more strategically.

The "Upside-Down Classroom" Is Born

At many universities, students are watching video simulations before attending clinical courses. "A professor might put together a simulation showing how to handle hazardous material and ask students to watch it before their first lab," says Sean Brown, vice president of higher education for Sonic Foundry, whose Mediasite webcasting platform automates the capture, management, delivery and search of lectures, online training and briefings.

This type of previewing is also happening in nonsimulation courses, and instructors tell Brown that it increases the quality of interaction in the classroom. "We see some schools making lectures available a week before class. In addition to improving the level of dialogue, doing this can help schools handle financial challenges, as they can cover material with fewer class meetings," says Brown.

Edward J. Berger, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, also teaches engineering. He says students benefit greatly from the repetition in his videos, especially since he can narrate his thought process as he solves problems. Berger uses a tablet PC for annotation, which allows him to incorporate smart design principles such as color to indicate certain elements. He has created a library of 400 video solutions, some of which are being packaged with a textbook as digital extras, using tools such as Camtasia Relay from TechSmith. "I don't require anyone to access the digital material.... But for anyone who wants additional ways to understand the lessons, it's available. I think it changes learning by empowering them to make that decision."

At DePauw University (Ind.), this "upside-down classroom" has become hugely popular. Computer Science Chair Dave Berque is one proponent. "In a traditional class, you spend time going over basics and building toward more difficult stuff," he says. "When you assign homework problems and the students struggle, the learning happens when you aren't there." The upside-down class gives students time to work on the harder, open-ended problems together so the teacher can coach. …

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