MicroCPD: Capturing Interactive Lectures Using Panopto

Dr Crayton Walker from the Department of English Language and Linguistics talks about using Panopto to capture interactive lectures.

Research which has been carried out into the use of lecture capture technology in higher education shows that:

  • Students really appreciate this additional resource and use the recordings for revision and to support note-taking (Gosper 2010; Newton et al. 2014; Toppin 2011; Woo et al. 2008).
  • Students do not normally watch the complete recording but view specific sections in order to help their understanding of difficult concepts and dense or complex content (Karnad 2013; Owston et al. 2011).
  • Students may occasionally use the technology to catch up on missed lectures but most do not see it as a replacement for the live event (Ford et al. 2012; Groen et al. 2016; Newton et al. 2014; Toppin 2011).
  • Students’ use of lecture capture would seem to have little direct effect on their grades (Ford et al. 2012; Greon et al. 2016).

Findings like these have prompted some practitioners to look for ways of making lecture capture a more integral element of the course. Lecture capture technology can be used to help with lecture flipping, for example, by having the information which would normally be delivered in the lecture viewed by students in advance. This gives the students the opportunity to apply the knowledge in group work and discussion during the face to face session (for more details see Witton 2017).

However, in my experience, a very interactive session like the one described in the MicroCPD is difficult to capture using existing lecture capture technology such as Panopto. The technology is designed to capture a lecture; the camera and microphone are focused on the action which takes place on the podium and not on the floor of the lecture room. There is also the question of whether a recording of students working in groups has any pedagogic value.

I spend a lot of my time working with experienced language teachers. I teach relatively small groups (max 50) of adult learners who have a lot to give. Much of the required knowledge can be elicited from them through pair and group work. My job is to structure and build on the knowledge and experience the learners already have and therefore a more interactive approach makes a lot of sense. However, my learners still want to have a Panopto recording of each session to help with their revision and note taking (see above).

In order to overcome the difficulties associated with recording an interactive session, I have developed a technique I call ‘post-lecture capture’. Immediately after the face to face session I make a Panopto recording using my office computer. I summarise the session by narrating the Powerpoint slides I have used in the face to face session. I will typically include the activity sheets in with the slides together with one or two pictures of the results of the group work taken during the session using my phone. The filming is always done in one take and takes no longer than thirty minutes to produce. Post-lecture capture allows me to create a 10 to 15 minute recording which summarises both my own and the students’ contribution to the session. Click here to see an example of a post-lecture recording.

Panopto is ideal for capturing a traditional lecture delivered to a large audience. However, this capture-all approach may not be appropriate for all teaching situations. As we have seen, lecture capture technology can be used in a variety of different ways and can be adapted to fit different teaching situations. Post-lecture capture is one example of how lecture capture technology can be adapted to meet the needs of both teachers and learners operating in an interactive learning environment.

Further Reading

*The most relevant paper is Witton 2017

Ford, M. B., et al. (2012) The effectiveness of classroom capture technologyActive Learning in Higher Education 13.3: 191-201.

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. ALT-J18 (3), 251-263.

Groen, J. F., Brenna Q., and Yves H.(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: 8.

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.

Newton, G., Tucker, T., Dawson, J., Currie, E., (2014) Use of lecture capture in higher education: Lessons from the trenches. TechTrends 58.2: 32-45.

Owston, R., Denys L., and Herb W. (2011) Lecture capture in large undergraduate classes: Student perceptions and academic performance. The Internet and Higher Education 14.4: 262-268.

Toppin, I. N., (2011) Video lecture capture (VLC) system: A comparison of student versus faculty perceptionsEducation and Information Technologies 16.4: 383-393.

Whitley-Grassi, N., and Baizer, J. S. (2010) Video lecture capture in physiology courses: Student attendance, video viewing and correlations to course performance. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning 7.10: 31-38.

Witton, G., (2017) The value of capture: Taking an alternative approach to using lecture capture technologies for increased impact on student learning and engagement. British Journal of Educational Technology 48.4: 1010-1019.

Woo, K. et al., (2008) Web-based lecture technologies: blurring the boundaries between face-to-face and distance learningALT-J 16.2: 81-93.