Lecture Capture Technology Provides Faculty with Teaching Options

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Among the many new advancements funded by Fairmont State’s Title III grant, lecture capture is a new instructional technology tool that will be available to faculty in the College of Science & Technology and School of Business.

As the name suggests, this technology involves the “capturing” of instructors’ lectures along with any audio, video or visual aids used, such as laptop or tablet applications, PowerPoint slides, whiteboard or other presentation materials used during the lecture. The captured presentation is then made available online for students to access on their own time and to review the materials as much as they need.  

During the first year of the Title III grant, the College of Science & Technology has installed a lecture capture system, Mediasite by SonicFoundry, in Room 305 of the Engineering Technology Building. Over the next four years, other classrooms in Hunt-Haught Hall and Jaynes Hall will be equipped with lecture capture. Additionally, faculty in both the College of Science & Technology and the School of Business can use My Mediasite Desktop Recorder to create, edit and upload presentations from their laptop, office or home computers.  

“With the help of our Instructional Technology staff, we have integrated a technology with a very easy-to-use faculty interface.  A faculty member can simply walk into the classroom, push the record button and focus on their teaching,” said Dr. Tony Gilberti, Dean of the College of Science & Technology.

“The recorded material can be very easily edited and uploaded to Blackboard or other sites to help reinforce the learning that has taken place in the classroom.  As an instructor, I find this very useful to help students master difficult concepts.  Short video clips can even be loaded prior to class as an aid in a future discussion or to address reading and homework assignments.  In essence, one can develop a series of videos to address specific areas that students have difficulty with or to create video clips to address new or previously covered material.”

Whether the lecture is captured during the actual class session or it is prerecorded, the lectures are managed, published and saved on a server and then quickly made available for students to access.  Almost no post-production work or editing is required; however, professors have the option to edit out parts of the class period to create clips to focus on key components of the material or to eliminate unwanted material, such as a disruption or an unrelated tangent. Students can then watch these presentations online at their own convenience.

With lecture capture, professors may choose to change up the traditional classroom by using the “flipped classroom” method of instruction. In a flipped classroom, instructors prerecord their lecture, post it to Blackboard and assign it to students to view prior to the class period. This way, students will come to class ready with the basic knowledge necessary to participate in classroom activities and active learning opportunities. More time will be available in the classroom setting for collaborative and experiential learning since the lectures have been viewed outside of class.

Faculty also can choose to use lecture capture without flipping their classroom. With lecture capture, instructors can record their in-class lectures and all of the presentation materials and make this available to students to use as a homework aid or study tool. Professors can also use lecture capture to create short learning modules on key content.

Students can go back in and re-watch a lecture or learning module as many times as they want. When viewing the material, they will have the ability to fast forward, pause, rewind, and skip segments; therefore, they can learn at their own pace. More importantly, students will be able to review specific segments – ones of high importance or maybe ones they find confusing. The professor can see how many times the lecture is watched and which segments of the presentation receive the most views. Faculty can then assess what content they may need to review or reteach in class.

Lecture capture is another instructional tool designed to enhance teaching and learning. This technology can help lessons become clearer and communication and collaboration become more frequent. Providing a technology-rich learning environment is one of the key components of Fairmont State’s Title III project, “Revitalizing Curricula as Experiential, Collaborative and Technology-Rich.” However, technology is only a supplement—not a replacement—for the direct interaction and collaboration among faculty and students—one of the many great attributes for which Fairmont State is known.

“Faculty are always looking for new methods to enhance learning that takes place both within and away from a direct classroom experience,” Gilberti said. “Many of the faculty in the College of Science & Technology are gifted in the variety of teaching styles and approaches that they use to help students learn.  The technology and professional development opportunities that are being fostered in our Title III grant provide a new set of techniques and opportunities for faculty to enhance their ‘toolbox’ of teaching strategies to further assist students.”