About Lecture Capture at Oxford University


This Educational Media innovation project started as a technical trial (feasibility study) to identify options for departments and colleges within the collegiate University to record lectures for student review and revision. The project carried out a number of live trials during 2014, and a formal pilot of this technology during the 2015 calendar year. At Oxford, the service has been branded ‘Replay’ and will be offered across the University from 2016 on an opt-in basis.


Automated lecture capture is a new and evolving technology that allows students to review a lecture online within hours of the live session, and provides an archive for exam preparation and revision. Oxford students have frequently requested this facility and departments are starting to request advice in this area.  We are testing software to record lectures easily and automatically have them viewable in a private course area of WebLearn for students to access. Project outputs will document authentic Oxford scenarios and lessons learned. The project will be delivered primarily by the Educational Media and WebLearn teams in IT Services, working closely with a small number of departments and units in response to their articulated needs.

As a result of this project IT services will be better able to respond, advise and support departments who wish to record their lectures and offer a more efficient service to support conferences and events. The project aims to produce recommendations for a possible future centrally supported lecture recording service. Research from other universities indicates that:

  • Students largely use recorded lectures to catch up on missed lectures and as a revision tool for exams and assessments, and often find recorded lectures to be a useful learning tool.
  • Students prefer blended teaching methods which incorporate both lecture recordings and live lectures, and do not view recorded lectures as a replacement for attending live lectures.

We will explore:

  •  Issues of access control and integration with the Oxford WebLearn VLE
  •  Privacy concerns, legal issues and best practice policy
  •  Innovative opportunities for students to create, use and manage lecture recordings
  •  Learning analytics to better understand how students use recorded lectures for study and revision
  •  ‘Conference capture’ – for day long or several day events
  •  A support model for running a centralised service for departments
  •  A review of the issues involved in using a cloud service for hosting private content

The anticipated benefits of this project include:

  •  Enhanced support for learning and teaching
  •  Engagement with AV teams across the collegiate university to solve real problems
  •  Economies of scale by repeating a known model
  •  Consistent approaches across the University
  •  Models for supporting students unable to access rooms due to disability
  •  Improve the overall offering from IT Services of a set of combined services that collectively support academic practice

For more information, contact the project manager in Academic IT Services, Oxford University.

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