Universities around the world are beginning to supplement traditional and online courses with media recordings of lectures and other classroom activities. Some of these are "open" for all to see; most are available only for registered students in specific courses. There are numerous postings of instructional videos on YouTube, and some were recorded in college classrooms. Many students find these useful for studying and making up missed lectures. Faculty can use them as content for online courses, or to improve and demonstrate their performance in the classroom for promotion and tenure. There are certainly pros and cons of lecture capture -- practical, pedagogical, and legal ones, for instance -- not the least of which is the issue of substituting online lectures for class attendance.
With the development of our capabilities in the area of lecture capture -- we will be able to host podcasts and vodcasts (audio and video files broadcast via subscription) on iTunesU -- we would like to start preparing for our "closeup" by planning a process and policies for creating and publishing this media. To do this, it would be helpful to have some examples of lecture capture media for people to see and evaluate in terms of using for their own classes. Some of the colleges have already begun to do this systematically.
Lecture capture best practices:
Elements of Lecture Capture
Capturing (recording) a lecture or classroom activites can be done in a number of ways.
Use a simple voice recorder and post the recording on a website for downloading. This can be a streaming file which does not download to the user's computer, an mp3 file that must be downloaded to play, or an mp3 file on a website that you can subscribe to as a podcast and have it updated automatically.
Both Powerpoint and Keynote (Mac) allow the speaker to record audio while the presentation is delivered. These can be exported to Quicktime and posted on a website. They must be completely downloaded before playing.
Use a screen capture program (we use Camtasia on the PC and Screenflow on a Mac) which records both the computer screen with the application being used (such as Powerpoint) along with the presenter's voice. This is a These applications can also capture video output by a webcam. The digital output can be a Quicktime Movie, a streaming movie file or a Flash file for posting on a website or burning to a CD/DVD.
What if I just want to record the screen of the computer and my voice?
Where do I put the recorded lectures so that students can access them?
Streaming media is delivered in a "stream" which does not download a file to the user. Streaming files must be uploaded to a streaming server; the campus is currently investigating an integrated lecture capture system that will have a streaming server capabilities. Blackboard does not stream media files; however, your videos can be uploaded to the campus Mediasite server and linked to your Blackboard courses.
Podcasts are files that are downloadable and can be stored by the user and redistributed. Files accessed on iTunes U through a subscription to the podcast which then downloads automatically when iTunes is opened. See this page for more information.
For recent examples of lecture capture and excellent teaching, see the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference presentations: