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Strategies for supporting effective student engagement with lecture recordings

An approach to engaging students with lectures, lecture captures and using them effectively and efficiently as part of their private study practice. Presented at ALT-C 2016, University of Warwick, 8 September 2016. Abstract available at

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Strategies for supporting effective student engagement with lecture recordings

  1. 1. mattcornock Strategies for supporting effective student engagement with lecture recordings Matt Cornock E-Learning Adviser and Lecture Recording Coordinator University of York ALT-C - 8 September 2016 mattcornock
  2. 2. mattcornock What links lecture content, lecture capture and how students use both when studying? This work builds upon the research outputs of a project presented at ALT-C 2015 which explored students’ use of lecture captures by interviewing 12 regular users and analysing their usage patterns. One of the research questions that has since emerged from the discussions with students is how the lecture content (and the lecture experience), the use of lecture captures and private, independent study are interlinked through the preferences and attitudes of students. The end goal is to find ways to better support student learning through provision of lecture captures.
  3. 3. mattcornock Au1 Au2 Au3 Au4 Au5 Au6 Au7 Au8 Au9 Au10 XmasVac1 XmasVac2 XmasVac3 XmasVac4 Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Sp5 Sp6 Sp7 Sp8 Sp9 Sp10 EasVac1 EasVac2 EasVac3 EasVac4 Su1 Su2 Su3 Su4 Su5 Su6 Su7 Su8 Su9 Su10 2014-15 2015-16 Proportion of total annual viewings by academic week One of the prompts for this research was to understand the patterns of use. In particular I wanted to explore what could be learnt from students who were utilising lecture captures outside of the revision window (the revision and assessment period are usually peaks in use) and encourage students who only use captures for revision to adopt new learning approaches throughout the whole term or academic year.
  4. 4. mattcornock “students with relatively high experience in video lectures find them more useful” Giannakos, Jaccheri and Krogstie (2015) This exploration is further supported by the research by Giannakos et al (2015) who identified that students who were using video based learning resources regularly found them more useful to their learning. Implicit in this assertion is the way students develop study practices to utilise the flexibility and control that video resources offer to revisit content.
  5. 5. mattcornock Preparation for practical tasks Self-checking understanding of concepts Thinking across the module Structured approach to reading Definitive set of notes per lecture Creating visualisations of lecture content Keeping ideas fresh in your head Using captures on the move Preparation for seminars Student study workflows From the research project, I developed seven study workflows ( to represent the different ways students utilised lecture captures as an integral part of their private study. These workflows were reviewed by a focus group of student representatives from across different departments (the basis of this presentation) and two additional workflows were added: using captures on the move and preparation for seminars.
  6. 6. mattcornock “students will adapt their use of captured content depending on their learning need” Witton (2016) Recent work published by Witton (2016) supports the argument and evidence from my research that students are using lecture captures in different ways depending on how they prefer to study and the intended learning from the module. Of particularly interest is that individual students in my study also indicated that they would change their approach to using lecture captures based on the module and sometimes the lecturer. Whilst the workflows are examples of practice they are not the only study practices students exhibited and, as the focus group identified, not all will work for all students.
  7. 7. mattcornock mind map first for the structure and then I would do a Quizlet; if I find I still don’t understand something I would make a document of explanations. Self-checking understanding of concepts Replay Lecture Capture Study Tips attend the lecture structure notes revision quiz note the key points and consider what you don’t understand highlight fundamental concepts and structure notes into chunks for creating self-check quiz use an online quiz-maker (e.g. Quizlet) or flash- cards to check understanding; use in- lecture questions as prompts re-watch lecture capture use recording to check answers, clarifying concepts you can’t answer confidently, writing explanations in your own words This is one of the workflows, as an example, that students from the focus group found interesting. Some students really liked the idea of using digital flashcards, quizzing themselves on the lecture content. However, other students said that was not their preferred learning approach, citing learning styles preferences (preferring to listen to captures). This suggests that it may be difficult to impart the value of trying different workflows where students have strong connections to established ways of learning from before university.
  8. 8. mattcornock I’ll go over lectures on different skills before I go to practical and try and make sure that I understand the principles. Preparation for practical tasks Replay Lecture Capture Study Tips attend the lecture play back recording undertake practical note theoretical basis for practical task focus on specific sections relevant to practical task apply from lecture principles utilise during write-up appraise method and concept; re- watch capture to aid understanding This second example workflow is geared more towards science disciplines. Within the focus group, students said they undertook this type of workflow, but not in this order. Instead of utilising the recording before practical tasks, they were using it during and after writing up their results. One explanation offered by the students was that the timetable limited their ability to refresh on key concepts before a practical, particularly in science subjects that have high contact hours, the scheduling of lectures and labs didn’t always allow for time to reflect on the theoretical concepts first.
  9. 9. mattcornock when you first make notes in a lecture it is fresh in your memory; you don’t necessarily know straight after a lecture how well you know the content for an exam three months later. Keeping ideas fresh in your head Replay Lecture Capture Study Tips attend the lectures other activities regular revision create notes during lecture continue with your studies, lectures, other activities on your course during or at the end of term, return to the lecture, revise key concepts using your notes play back captures if your notes are incomplete, or you cannot explain a key concept, revisit the lecture This final example is a workflow that I originally took a little creative license with and amended after feedback from the focus group. The workflow encouraged repeat visiting of knowledge from the lecture in order to assist in long term memory recall. However, my suggestion of ‘weekly revision’ was judged as impractical by the focus group who instead said this sort of behaviour is most likely to occur at the end of term, due to the lack of time and challenge of keeping up with fast-paced courses. They did mention revisiting captures is useful where modules have prerequisites from previous academic years.
  10. 10. mattcornock ACTIVE LEARNING EFFICIENT USE OF TIME  ? I would argue that the workflows are demonstrations of students active learning, utilising the lecture content, applying it to specific problems and situations, learning through the process of doing a task. That task may simply be reinterpretation of their lecture notes or more complex synthesis into report writing. However, whilst the students are spending time on their lectures, the question remains whether this is actually the most efficient use of their limited study time.
  11. 11. mattcornock LECTUREMy original research question placed the lecture at the heart of students’ learning, the structure for a module from which everything else hung. Some students also have the view that the lecture content is, for the most part, only what they will be assessed on. This is clearly not where higher marks in assessment are placed, so there’s a risk of students over-valuing the lecture content. Like many institutions, we have a system we are encouraging colleagues to utilise and investing in lecture capture as a resource to support students. Does this promotion therefore champion the lecture too much?
  12. 12. mattcornock “instructors should use strategies to encourage students to use the full lecture (instead of parts of it)” Giannakos, Jaccheri and Krogstie (2015) Whilst Giannakos et al (2015) provided recordings as both replacement and supplement, they have a view that students should be watching the full lecture, rather than as some students do in my study (and many others) watch selectively to address knowledge gaps. Again, I question whether this is the right focus for student learning, where instead we should be encouraging use of the lecture content in other learning activities, interpretation and application.
  13. 13. mattcornock “Everyone expects you to be taking notes.” Focus Group Comment The importance of the lecture is also shown through staff concerns about attendance at lectures, but also the perceived expectation students hold of their actions in a lecture to write notes. When I asked lecturing staff what they would like students to do in a lecture some said the lecture was there to show how academics in the discipline think, how they go about being in the discipline, and sometimes the best thing is just to sit back and get a holistic view of the topic and make detailed notes later. The discussion of the value of lecture capture needs to raise these inconsistencies of expectations on the role of the lecture between both staff and students.
  14. 14. mattcornock LECTURE SEMINAR LABPRACTICAL TUTORIAL WORKSHOP PROBLEM CLASS SUPERVISION EXAMESSAY FUNREADINGPLACEMENTWORKSPORTSSOCIETIES FAMILY During the interviews with students, they detailed a wide range of other learning activities such as lab work, report writing, assessments, seminars, that all compete on their time and sometimes directly conflict with attendance at lectures. When we also factor in the non-academic time, such as societies, sports, family commitments, it emphasises how students really do need to consider how to prioritise their study time. Therefore the tension between promoting attendance, time on lecture content and revisiting lecture content really needs contextualising for students by their teaching staff .
  15. 15. mattcornock To assist students in working out the role of the lecture and how they can use the lecture captures appropriately and efficiently, I created four videos to complement the workflows. The videos again draw upon quotes from the student interviews but also provide clear frameworks for students to consider the role of their independent study. The first considers learning before, during and after the lecture contact time. The aim to prompt the student to think about how to link the lecture content to other academic activities.
  16. 16. mattcornock “lectures were helpful for revision, but examination was based upon seminar discussion” “even in sciences, you would not be asked to recite theory but to apply it” Focus Group Comments The risk of overemphasising the role of the lecture emerged from the focus group also, with students cautioning about encouraging students to spend too much time on lecture content and not enough time on activities such as the seminar. In particular, failing to prepare for a seminar doesn’t allow students to develop their thoughts and understanding which will carry greater marks during assessment, nor does it benefit group learning in the seminar itself.
  17. 17. mattcornock Students awareness of the value of non-lecture activities is an obvious contrast to concerns over lecture attendance. The second video is designed to highlight the opportunities of staff-student contact and peer discussion through lecture attendance, the experience of being part of a live performance, getting a first take of the content. The video then looks at what lecturers consider to be the role of the lecture: conveying content, presenting arguments, crucially as a starting point for further study.
  18. 18. mattcornock The third video reiterates different ways to make the most of the captures by using the technology. For example jumping straight to parts of the lecture the student didn’t understand, playing back high speed to reorder notes or to watch the capture in its entirety to get the narrative flow.
  19. 19. mattcornock The final video the focus group identified as being particularly useful. In this video the focus isn’t on lecture capture, but on note-making: taking notes, adding interpretation and using notes for further study. These crucial study skills enable students to make the most of the lecture, the capture and effective use of their private study time. As well as linear notes, mind maps and annotated resources, the video introduces the Cornell Method which is recommended for note-making for readings by our Learning Enhancement Team, but would equally work for the lecture environment with captures.
  20. 20. mattcornock Framework for supporting students in their use of lecture capture CENTRALRESOURCES Technical guides Institutional policy Study guides Induction discussions Study workflows Learning with captures The central resources are underpinned by students’ knowledge of institutional policy, why the lecture capture service exists and how departments utilise captures. They are also dependent upon adequate technical training. The study workflows and videos are the elements to the framework that add the most value to students understanding of how to use captures.
  21. 21. mattcornock CENTRALRESOURCES DEPARTMENT Discipline Module Lecture Study LECTURER STUDENT The need for discipline context However, central resources do need introducing to students within the discipline context. As indicated throughout, students need an understanding of how the lecture and their private study is related to the module and the discipline. This advice can only come from the department and lecturer, trying to make clear to students how the lecture as a teaching intervention should be engaged with.
  22. 22. mattcornock Students will use captures in their own ways as part of their private study practice. Central resources can offer suggestions, but must also encourage an understanding of the subject discipline context. Summary
  23. 23. mattcornock Student study resources mattcornock