Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageWhat will become of the lecture?Video camera via Vereshchagin Dmitry/www.shutterstock.com

Universities across the world are considering whether to start automatically recording lectures. Some students are voting for it. And the IT industry has created some seductive products to record lectures, a process also known as “lecture capture”. Some onlookers expect a hesitant response from the higher education sector, which is often portrayed as cautious about taking up educational technologies.

Yet lobbing new resources into complex settings deserves caution. Our universities are rich human ecosystems and, as such, they can prove fragile in the face of interventions. A new technology such as the automatic recording of lectures does not just add something good to the learning context – it re-configures it, but in uncertain ways. Perhaps to inspire, perhaps to disrupt but, most likely, to create new dynamics with both positive and negative effects.

The positives are pretty easy to imagine. For instance, some lectures are challenging (or obscure) and so need to be heard more than once. Recordings might free the student to fully engage at the live event while taking more measured notes on the second viewing. Those without English as their first language may be particular beneficiaries. Meanwhile, lecturers can review students’ use of their presentations – perhaps noting sections that attract frequent re-visiting and so identify points where repair or elaboration might be useful.

But we have a responsibility to ensure that, on balance, any disturbance enriches rather than disrupts the vitality of the teaching and learning ecosystem. The potential downsides of lecture capture gather around three themes: changes to student experience, changes in teacher practices, and the re-shaping of institutional strategy.

Making recordings of lectures freely available to students could lead to a fall-off in attendance of the live lectures themselves. There is scarce research on whether it does and, besides, in order to know the answer to this we’d need this experiment in recording lectures to become properly established.

But if attendance did drop, it would risk further de-personalising learning. A live lecture cultivates students' capacity for sustained attention to a narrative unfolding in real time, and also reinforces habits of prompt and effective note-taking. imageJust in time for the lecture.Man laptop via Rock and Wasp/www.shutterstock.com

Whether or not attendance is disrupted the organised recording of lectures by universities – versus the under-the-desk recording by students – risks putting too much importance on the lecture in the learning experience. This could be counter-productive for staff wishing to stimulate a wide range of study practices. This danger is that the lecture may increasingly be interpreted by students as being “the main thing”, prompting them to anxiously reproduce its contents in assignments. Similarly, ready access to replays may encourage procrastination and then episodes of “binge studying” around the time of examinations. Such study habits are known to be unhelpful and so we can do without further temptations towards them.

Performance anxiety

Another anxiety concerns the physical presence of the lecturer in front of his or her students: their gestures, movements, facial expressions, and eye contact. Students using recordings will miss much of this, while lecturers may need to inhibit action to accommodate fixed cameras.

More controversially, lecturing may morph into performing: with modes of presentation that play up to the camera (or microphone). Perhaps most worrying would be if lecturers start avoiding controversy and taking risks in both the content they use and their presentation. Content, because a recording is unforgiving in its permanence and vulnerable to uncontrolled circulation beyond its intended audience. Presentation, because lecturers may become more cautious about interactive formats: if students show uneasiness about being recorded taking part (or, indeed, demanding consent to be recorded doing so).

Educational technologists speak of “re-usable learning objects” – and recorded lectures could fall into this category. Suppose a lecturer was asked to speak at a conference but it awkwardly clashed with a lecturing commitment – it might be tempting to grab last year’s recording and simply re-cycle it.

But a recorded lecture may not always serve the lecturer so generously. Metrics on how many students view these recordings may soon become part of a “big data” story – integrated with metrics of course evaluation and workload as a contested part of an academic’s personal development planning or a university’s audit.

Who’s watching?

Perhaps the biggest institutional concern will arise around how all this appears from outside. With study resources migrating to virtual learning environments and now classroom activity migrating to join them, we risk an apparent “MOOC-ification” of teaching – where all lectures could be viewed as part of a massive open online course. This could leave parents, among others, asking difficult questions about the content and value for money of higher education.

Personally, I am in favour of lecture capture: at least, a version in which audio is presented along with any slides. But I am more concerned that the occasion for its use should be entrusted to individual academics and not imposed upon them: in short, it should be opt-in. And I am most concerned with the need to highlight the responsibility that this creates: lecturers must reflect on their practice and articulate clearly to their students why or why not to capture what happens in the classroom. I believe students will value, understand and respect their reasoning.

Charles Crook does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/should-all-university-lectures-be-automatically-recorded-39158

INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

The Conversation

Politics

Closing the Gap Statement to Parliament

Mr Speaker, when we meet in this place, we are on Ngunnawal country. I give my thanks and pay my respects to our Ngunnawal elders, past, present and importantly emerging for our future. I honour...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Alan Jones

ALAN JONES: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Alan.    JONES: I was just thinking last night when we're going to talk to you today, you must feel as though you've ...

News Company - avatar News Company

Prime Minister Bridget McKenzie press conference

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon everybody. The good news is that the Qantas flight is on its way to Wuhan and I want to thank everybody for their cooperation, particularly the Chinese Government as...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Choosing the Right Coworking Space For Your Business

As the capital of Victoria in Australia, Melbourne is inhabited by millions of people and is known as one of the most liveable cities in the world. The latter is due to the city’s diverse community...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

What Should You Expect from A Carpentry Apprenticeship?

Those wanting to pursue a career in woodwork, whether it be to make furniture, construct buildings or repair existing wooden structures, will have to first commence a carpentry apprenticeship. This ...

News Company - avatar News Company

4 Tips To Choosing A Reliable SEO Company For Your Digital Marketing Agency

Working with a digital marketing agency Perth is the best bet in ensuring that your business is promoted well in the online space. If you are an app developer Perth, you may have to work closely wit...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

Travelling With Pets? Here Is What You Should Know

Only a pet parent can understand the dilemma one experiences while planning a vacation. Do you leave your pets at home?  Will you get a pet sitter or someone to take care of them while you are away?...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Be a Smart Frugal Traveller

You are looking through Instagram, watching story after story of your followers overseas at a beach in Santorini, walking through the piazza in Italy, and eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel ...

News Company - avatar News Company

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR GRADUATION TRIP

Graduation is the stage of life when a student receives the rewards of hard work of years. It must have taken sleepless nights and tiring days to achieve the task. Now, as you have received your cov...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo