Queen Mary, University of London.
June 16th 2011
Earlier in the month I attended the ALT event Lecture capture – doing it well and at scale at Queen Mary, University of London. Lecture Capture is something that CLIPP has been involved in for three years now; having piloted Mediasite and Echo360, we now run Panopto, branded as Aston Replay for our students, and have it installed in all of our centrally booked lecture theatres.
After brief introductions from the exhibitors, Eoin McDonnell from QMU kicked off proceedings talking about their experiences of rolling out lecture capture, focusing on staff attitudes and anxieties to lecture capture. 13% of lecturers responding to a survey said they were ‘violently opposed’ to lecture capture and of those, 100% had accessed lecture recordings from other universities. Students at QMU viewed the recorded sessions as a backup to the real thing – they still want lectures.
Lecture Capture at Aston, 1980s style
Kris Roger from London School of Economics spoke about how lecture capture at LSE started out with a single VCR as a response to a request from a lecturer to needing to implement a scaleable solution across the institution. Aston has a long history of using video, meaning we started out with more than one VCR (see right for a shot from the archives).
The next two sessions were people who’ve built their own solutions. Dr. Marco Zennaro and Dr. Enrique Canessa, from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, demonstrated a system that was developed in house at ICTP called openEyA – a low cost solution running from an Ubuntu based netbook. At the time of writing, they have 7565 recorded hours of physics and mathmatics lectures available to view online. Dr. Neil Berry, University of Liverpool, demonstrated the use of capturing audio and computer screen during a lecture to provide recordings of Chemistry teaching.
Juliet Hinrichsen and Amanda Hardy from Coventry University discussed issues around staff development, and have a wealth of OER available on their website. While we have a lot of support materials available for staff, we don’t have many for students to get the most out of Replay which is something we will address over the summer.
Graham McElearney closed the day by talking about copyright. In a nutshell, if we didn’t make it, didn’t buy it, and it hasn’t been given to us then it isn’t ours to use. There are also limits on what can be recorded, while a lecturer is entitled to show a clip from a TV programme in a lecture room, they can’t record it.
The key thing that I took away from the event is that lecture capture will highlight any weaknesses already present in processes, a common example given was a lack of communication (a decision was took centrally to record lectures, but the first time the lecturers knew was when they received an automatic email telling them their recording was ready). Here at Aston, we don’t centrally control the recordings, we give the freedom to the lecturer to choose what and when to record. The main complaint we get is users have to log in twice to make a recording – once to the PC, and once to the recording software. This is down to the way PCs in our lecture theatres are configured and is something we’re keen to fix.
The Twitter backchannel at events is invaluable, providing extra content and encouraging discussion. I’ve collated some (ok, a lot) of the tweets about the event on Storify, and next time I’m at a similar event I’ll make sure I’ve got a laptop, rather than rely on my mobile phone.