"lecture capture" and "improving quality of our courses" are not phrases I think belong in same sentence
--from a tweet by Clint Lalonde @clintlalonde Victoria, BC, Canada, Manager of Learning Technologies, Royal Roads University - linking to my 8/10/11 post on CIO questions.
I'm sympathetic to Clint's point. Certainly, if we stop at layering lecture capture technology on top of the traditional lecture format we will have missed a huge opportunity to improve learning. I'd also argue that if we fail to connect lecture capture platforms with the growing open education movement, using recorded lectures as an economical way to create and quickly share learning content, we will have missed another opportunity.
I'm convinced, however, that lecture capture is a fundamental enabling and catalyzing technology for improving learning (and may be a tool to open access and drive down costs as well). How?:
Accessibility: Even if the traditional lecture remains totally unchanged, the availability of recorded lectures is enormously beneficial to large numbers of our learners. The option to review key parts of the lecture after class can take away the stress of note taking on every point. Layer on captioning software and accessibility value of lecture capture increases.
Engagement: Students can spend more time listening and engaging with the material and their classmates, having the confidence that they can review key points after the class.
The "Inverted" Classroom: Lecture capture is a great tool for traditional courses, but it can also be used to "invert" the classroom. This is the idea that precious classroom time is utilized for discussion, debate, problem solving and a focus on the most difficult concepts. If faculty are given tools to record lecture segments ahead of class (either from their offices using personal capture software or in a classroom), then students can preview those materials before coming to class. (The move to students consuming lectures on mobile devices will accelerate the trend).
Blended Learning: Time shifting lectures is a key component of introducing blended learning. It may be possible to utilize lecture capture technology to bring more courses through the fixed classroom space by decreasing the number of class sessions. This can increase the productivity of the fixed classroom asset, a move that could lower costs by increasing the number of tuition paying students that can be served.
What is most important is to understand that introducing a lecture capture system on our campuses will not automatically result in better quality learning. Lecture capture is a tool that must be complemented by robust people resources. Learning designers and educational technologists must be brought into the conversation early. Partnerships between departments, faculty and learning technology professionals should be initiated and supported, with the goal of leveraging any new lecture capture system as a part of course re-design.
The installation of lecture capture systems provide an opportunity, a window, to devote additional resources and attention to teaching and learning. A lecture capture project that is not tied to course re-design and/or new program development is a lost opportunity.
Is your campus engaged in a lecture capture project?
What platforms are you installing? How and why did you choose your vendor?
Are you pairing your lecture capture project with course re-design or new program initiatives?