MicroCPD: Lecture recording myths, benefits and evidence

This week Marios Hadjianastasis busts some myths surrounding lecture recording , and discusses the real evidence and benefits.

Research Summary

There is an ever-growing body of evidence on lecture recordings. The study cited above (Groen, Quigley and Herry, 2016) is an extremely useful summary of research findings which addresses a number of key areas, such as attendance, attainment, student satisfaction and accessibility/inclusivity. 

According to research evidence, current use of lecture recordings serves to address a ‘deficit’, where students had to miss the actual lecture for whatever reason (Leadbeater, Shuttleworth, Couperthwaite & Nightingale, 2013). Although it would be easy to assume that such practice might mean that students’ attendance may suffer as a result, research evidence in fact suggests that this is not the case:

these fears are often unfounded and research shows that the availability of recorded lectures does not have a significant negative impact on attendance.” (Groen, Quigley & Herry, 2016, p. 3)

Academic performance
Research on the relevance between the use of lecture recordings and student attainment is still ongoing. There is no overwhelming evidence which suggests that lecture recordings are a standalone factor in the improvement of student learning. Where they seem to make a difference is when such recordings are embedded within the course on an ongoing basis, such as preparation for following lectures or seminars. For students who tend to ‘stack’ these lectures with the explicit purpose of revision, there was no observable difference in attainment or performance (Groen, Quigley & Herry, 2016).

Accessibility and inclusivity
A study carried out at the University of Birmingham in 2013 highlighted this area as one where the availability of lecture recordings can make a huge difference in the attainment of students with particular characteristics such as learning difficulties, or students with English as a second language (Leadbeater, Shuttleworth, Couperthwaite & Nightingale, 2013). The availability of lecture recordings for students who may have to miss lectures for medical reasons also enables module and programme leads to ensure that students are not disadvantaged through no fault of their own.

The research evidence discussed above shows that the availability of lecture recordings will undoubtedly benefit students in need of additional support. It may also make learning more effective when such recordings are used not as a backup safety net, but also as a useful learning tool which is embedded and referred to in different learning contexts. Finally, the fears regarding attendance are entirely unfounded.

Further Reading

Gosper, M., McNeill, M., Phillips, R., Preston, G., Woo, K. & Green, D. (2010). Web-based lecture technologies and learning and teaching: a study of change in four Australian universities. Research in Learning Technology, Volume 18, Issue 3. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687769.2010.529111

Groen, J. F., Quigley, B., & Herry, Y. (2016). Examining the Use of Lecture Capture Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2016.1.8

Leadbeater, W., Shuttleworth, T., Couperthwaite, J. & Nightingale, K. (2013). Evaluating the use and impact of lecture recording in undergraduates: Evidence for distinct approaches by different groups of students. Computers & Education, Volume 61, February, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.09.011

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