4 Considerations for Offering Recorded Lectures
While recorded lectures are not a new technology, they have become increasingly common and popular during the pandemic. Though some benefits of recorded lectures are apparent (e.g., helpful for students who are sick), it might not always be clear to instructors what benefit these recordings serve, or their impact on student attendance, motivation, and learning. This resource offers considerations and suggestions for navigating recordings in our evolving educational landscape. This resource is a first step in approaching this complex issue, and we invite feedback and recommendations!
Click here to download this resource as an infographic.
Some instructors have communicated that recordings may be impacting student attendance in class. At this point in the semester, it will be difficult to adjust expectations and norms within a class, but communicating to students the value of in-class participation (to learning, engagement, etc.) early on can be very helpful in promoting attendance and engagement. This can begin as early as day one: rather than going over the syllabus on the first day of class, consider modeling what a class will look like, including common activities or engagement, and why coming to class (when possible) is important for learning. If you're trying to re-establish expectations and norms later in the semester, you might consider experimenting with active learning strategy or practice within a single lecture and communicating the value of participating to students (Cheung et al, 2020).
When determining whether offering recordings is appropriate for your course, consider the needs of students with disabilities and the built environment of the classroom. Since every classroom is different, and there may be concealed or hard to identify obstacles to accessibility, consider asking students about any challenges they may have getting to and sitting in your classroom.
In studies on the use and effectiveness of recorded lectures on student participation and learning, students generally perceive recorded lectures favorably, and associate the availability of lecture captures with improved learning (Groen et al, 2016). They also report watching recorded lectures for a variety of reasons: making up content from absences; studying for exams; using class time to work on other assignments or address outside commitments; and, most commonly, reviewing material they may have found confusing from the lecture. Students also cite the benefit of being able to watch a recording while accessing additional resources that might not otherwise be available to them in class (Horn, D., 2020). A recent study (2021) analyzing student sentiments (n=660) regarding lecture recordings confirmed these findings and revealed additional reasons for student use of recorded lectures, including sickness (45), revising lectures (27), and flexible access (21) as some of the most commonly cited reasons (Nkomo, L.M. & Daniel, B.K). Less commonly cited reasons in this study included part-time job (6) and disability (5).
Though the findings differ across disciplines, many instructors doubt the value of recorded lectures in improving student learning outcomes (Dona et al. 2017; O’Callaghan et al. 2017; Witthaus and Robinson 2015). Instructors have specifically reported concerns that recorded lectures negatively impact interactions with students, can limit instructor spontaneity and humor during live instruction or that recording does not suit the types of activities they use during class (Fardon 2003; Secker et al. 2010; Taplin et al. 2014). While advantages can include the ability to archive lectures, improving lecturing style, using prior lectures when it has not been possible to give a face-to-face lecture (e.g., due to illness, technology problems), and using recorded material in assessment or in other classes of the subject (Chang 2007), instructors should also be aware of potential drawbacks and how any limitations can be minimized or avoided (O’Callaghan et al. 2017).
In a large 2016 study, use of lecture recordings was correlated with improved exam performance, but the relationship, though significant, was very small (Williams et al). This and other findings suggest that watching recorded lectures is most effective when done as a supplement to instruction throughout the entire semester, as opposed to watching recordings only prior to exams. When it comes to studying for exams or using recordings as a review tool, instructors can encourage students to view lecture recordings as a first step for studying, and to supplement recordings with other effective strategies (problem posing, group studying, etc.).
While existing research does offer some insight into student behavior and the learning benefits of recordings, we need more data after two+ years of online, hybrid, and HyFlex learning. Consider polling your students anonymously to ask why they use recorded lectures, and reviewing the data as a group. This is an opportunity to share strategies for studying with recordings or communicate why coming to class in general or for specific sessions is important (e.g., to participate in activities, get to know team members or the instructor).
- Chang, S. (2007). Academic perceptions of the use of Lectopia: A University of Melbourne example. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/chang.pdf
- Cheung, D.; Benson, D.; Steinkamp, N. & Grabham, B. (2020). Lecture Capture Offers Far More Benefits than You Might Think, CU Boulder Center for Teaching and Learning. https://www.colorado.edu/assett/2020/08/21/lecture-capture-offers-far-more-benefits-you-might-think
- Dennin, M. (n.d.). Why We Should Record Lectures Post-Pandemic, UC Irvine Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. https://michaeldennin.ovptl.uci.edu/2021/05/28/episode-12-why-we-should-record-lectures-post-pandemic/
Fardon, M. (2003) Internet Streaming of Lectures: a matter of style. Proceedings of Educause 2003. Adelaide, University of Adelaide.
- Groen, J.F.; Quigley, B. & Herry, Y. (2016). Examining the use of lecture capture technology: implications for teaching and learning. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 7(1): 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2016.1.8
- Horn, D. (2020). Recorded Lectures are Not for Everyone: Lower-Performing Students Benefit from Attending Live Lectures. Optometric Education, 46(1).
- Karnad, A. (2013). Student use of recorded lectures: a report reviewing recent research into the use of lecture capture technology in higher education, and its impact on teaching methods and attendance. London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. eprints.lse.ac.uk/50929/
- Learning and Teaching Hub @Bath Why record lectures? https://teachinghub.bath.ac.uk/why-record-lectures/
- MacKay, J.R.D. (2020). First year undergraduates make use of recordings to overcome the barriers to higher education: evidence from a survey Research in Learning Technology (28) 2476 http://dx.doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v28.2476
- MacKay J.R.D.; Nordmann, E.; Murray L.; Browitt, A; Anderson, M. & Hutchison, J. (2021). The Cost of Asking: ‘Say that Again?’: A Social Capital Theory View Into How Lecture
Recording Supports Widening Participation. Frontiers in Education 6:734755. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2021.734755/full
- Morris, N.; Swinnerton, B; Coop, T. (2019). Lecture recordings to support learning: A contested space between students and teachers Computers & Education Vol.140 Oct. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103604
- Nightingale, K.; Anderson, V.; Onens, S.; Fazil, Q. & Davies, H. (2019). Developing the inclusive curriculum: Is supplementary lecture recording an effective approach in supporting students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)? Computers & Education (130) 13-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.11.006
- Nkomo, L. & Daniel, B. (2021). Sentiment Analysis of Student Engagement with Lecture Recording TechTrends 65:213–224. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-020-00563-8
- Nordmann, E.; Calder, C.; Bishop, P.; Irwin, A. & Comber, D. (2018). Turn up, tune in, don’t drop out: the relationship between lecture attendance, use of lecture recordings, and achievement at different levels of study. Higher Education 77:1065–1084. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-018-0320-8
- O'Callaghan, F.; Neumann, D.; Jones, L. & Creed, P. (2017). The use of lecture recordings in higher education: A review of institutional, student, and lecturer issues. Education and Information Technologies. 22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-015-9451-z
- Secker, J.; Bond, S. & Grussendorf, S. (2010). Lecture capture: rich and strange, or a dark art? In: ALT-C 2010, 2010-09-06 - 2010-09-09, Nottingham, United Kingdom. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29184/2/Lecture_capture_(LSERO_version).pdf
- Williams, A.E.; Aguilar-Roca, N.M. & O'Dowd, D.K. (2016). Lecture capture podcasts: differential student use and performance in a large introductory course. Educational Technology Research and Development. 64(1): 1-12. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24761345