As we move to record 50% of lectures at Royal Holloway starting in September 2019, it’s a good time to curate and deconstruct some of the myths surrounding this student-led change.  Feel free to add more myths (and rebuttals) via the comments area at the bottom of the page.

1. “If I record my lectures students won’t turn up”

There’s no evidence to suggest that this is true at Royal Holloway, where 12% of modules currently offer recordings of some or all of the lectures.

A review of literature in the the use of lecture recordings in Higher Education found that there was no systematic pattern of results for studies using lecturer ratings of attendance or student self-reports, indicating that associations are likely to be influenced by contextual factors.  Such factors could include the following:

  • quality of the lecture content and delivery
  • timing of the lecture
  • level of study
  • student ability
  • approaches to learning
  • assessment practices

Hear what Newcastle University’s Student Union Education Officer has to say about student use of lecture recordings.

2. “Providing instant access to recordings of lectures will serve to reward those who have skipped them”

Lecture recordings should be viewed as supplementary to live lectures.  One of the most sophisticated analyses of the relationship between use of lecture recordings and grades found that the students who derived the most benefit from watching lecture recordings were the students who also attended the majority of lectures.

3. “Only badly attended lectures should be recorded and made available”

It would be better to understand why attendance rates are poor in the first place.  The effects of lecture recordings on student attendance interact with both the quality of the lectures and the quality of the student. Research at Stanford found that poorly attended lectures had lecture capture recordings that were watched less frequently than well attended lectures.

4. “My lectures will be downloaded and re-used or repurposed with out my permission”

Students cannot download or share recorded content.  The default settings for recorded lectures are for content to be streamed rather than downloaded, and for only those students enrolled on the course Moodle site to view them.

5. “Students can record lectures themselves if they cannot keep up”

A centrally supported, streamed and copyright-protected quality recording, which is published only to those studying a module, is far superior and equitable than the unknown quantity and whereabouts of low-quality recordings.

6. “Recording lectures stifles interactivity; students will not ask or answer questions if they are being recorded”

It is possible to pause a recording by opening the Panopto software on a lecture theatre PC and pressing the F9 key.  Pressing F9 again will resume recording.

Moreover, students are more likely to interact if the pressure of constant, detailed note-talking is lessened without the risk of missing key content.

7. “Students will stop taking notes during lectures if they have access to recordings”

Research (carried out by McKinney, Dyck and Luber, 2009) indicated that students that used lecture recordings took more extensive notes.  Given that note-taking is known to increase academic performance (Kiewra, 1985), students may benefit from the ability to reinforce their lecture notes at a pace of their own choosing.

8. “There’s no support for this technology and I don’t know how to use it”

The E-Learning Team have produced a Moodle course for staff which covers many aspects of the service, including recording vodcasts or mini-lectures on a laptop to editing lecture recordings.  There are also regular workshops for staff and students.

9. “I have neither the time or the digital skills required to edit and publish my recordings”

You are not required to edit your live lecture recordings, and the default setting is that they are published to students via Moodle automatically.

If, however, you do wish to “top-and-tail” recordings to remove audio from before and after the lecture, this is very straightforward; it takes only minutes at most for each recording and the E-Learning Team can help you develop the required skills in no more than 15 minutes. Watch this 5 minute video to learn more (Moodle content)

Posted by Martin King

Senior Learning Technologist; MOOC Producer; Moodle, Turnitin, Grademark, Peermark, Panopto, Turning Technologies expert.

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