Student requests for recorded lectures to be made available in WebLearn

The WebLearn Student Experience (WLSE) project was run during Michaelmas term 2012. We collected and analysed student feedback to produce a number of generic recommendations for departments, colleges and the central WebLearn team. One of the recommendations emerged from the expressed student need for recorded lectures to be made available in WebLearn:

RECOMMENDATION 1.2: Lecturers are encouraged to make recorded lectures available in WebLearn.  This can be done using various tools and techniques such as WebEx, audio commentaries with Powerpoint slideshows, students making audio recordings of lectures (with permission), sourcing existing relevant podcasts etc. Contact the IT Services podcasting or WebLearn teams to find out more.

Here are some possible routes to follow and suggestions about how to achieve the end result:

Possible route

How to do it

Students record audio during lectures: this is probably the quickest and easiest way; students probably already do this, with or without permission Record and upload audio file into the Podcasts tool (WebLearn) – configure the tool permissions so that students are able to create and modfy their own audio files
Lecturers record audio commentaries: like point 1, audio commentary based on a slide show is of limited use without slides/slide timings Record and upload audio file into the Podcasts tool (WebLearn)
Source existing OER podcasts: there are many in the collection, e.g. the series on the History of Medical Sciences (, or other repositories like Jorum (  Various open educational resources (OERs) are great for general interest/public engagement, but the students in the WLSE project were requesting recordings of their own lecturers’ teaching, focused on the local syllabus Use the Oxford Podcasts tool (WebLearn) –  it allows you to browse and automatically import selected items with media player
Lecturers record audio with slideshow:In Med Sci there are a number of lecturers who simply record audio over their PowerPoint slideshows in their rooms just using a desktop microphone (i.e. not live) – this is built into PowerPoint and doesn’t need external audio programs like Audacity. It’s then relatively easy to convert to a video/Flash and upload it into WebLearn Record and upload media file into the Podcasts tool (WebLearn)
Medical Sciences records live audio and the VGA signal to the projector in a number of lecture situations; contact the Medical Sciences Learning Technologies Group This requires some special equipment (a £700 analogue to digital convertor) and host the videos on a streaming server (£700 for software); but they are accessed from a link in WebLearn
WebEx: In Medical Sciences, WebEx is increasingly used to:
– Run seminars/tutorials with students at a distance
– Broadcast, live, lecture courses so students not in Oxford can see them live. Some lecturers even allow ‘Chat’ questions during the lecture. If you’re doing this anyway, it’s just a question of pressing a button to record to server space provided by WebEx. The link can then be placed in WebLearn. This is Med Sci’s preferred long-term model for lecture recording
WebEx: webex/faq.xml
WebEx provides the space to store the files

Further suggestions:

  • Contact your local IT support officer: They may have a preferred option and be able to help you do it.
  • Technology tools: Visit Russell Stannard’s Teacher Training Videos website for more information and online tutorials about adding voice to your slideshows, and various voice recording, podcasting, screen capturing and webcam software tools.
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