Stephen Wheeler

eLearning Technologist

Are lecture capture videos deployed in a science and engineering faculty affording student critical thinking?

The University of Manchester is a major research university in the North of England. A scheme to systematically make videos of lectures and distribute them as podcasts was implemented as a pilot scheme in 2011 and rolled-out across the University in subsequent years. All 340 centrally administered teaching spaces are equipped with lecture capture technology. 40,000 hours of teaching and learning activities are recorded every year and are accessed in excess of 2 million times by students.

There are no cameras used in the teaching spaces. The system captures the output of the projector, a PowerPoint presentation for example, and the microphones the teaching spaces are equipped with.

The system is linked to and depends upon the University’s central room booking system: any teaching is automatically recorded and the link to the RSS feed is placed into the respective course space in the institutional Virtual Learning Environment. Importantly, lecturers do not opt-in to the system, but have to opt-out if they do not want their lecture recorded.

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