Educational Media Services is running a pilot project, called Replay, using Panopto lecture capture software to record lectures as a revision aid for Oxford students. Panopto is easy to use and unobtrusive. It captures audio and slides, automatically synchronises them, and makes them available via WebLearn to students on the course. Video recording using a webcam or network camera is also possible. Academics and/or local support staff can view each recording through a simple online editor before releasing it to students. The option to release the recordings to the general public via iTunes U can be discussed as a separate service.
Surveys suggest that Oxford students value recorded lectures as a study aid; they can listen and concentrate during lectures, without having to take substantial notes. Students can review the recording on demand, particularly to go over difficult concepts and to revise for exams. They can search for particular words within the text on the slides, as well as in the audio track. The option to access the recordings after the lecture and view/listen to them as often as necessary promotes inclusive education practices, particularly for students with disabilities or special learning needs. Research conducted in the HE sector more widely suggests that the availability of recorded lectures does not adversely affect student attendance at face-to-face lectures.
Benefits for lecturers include the fact that the recording equipment is inexpensive and non-intrusive (usually only a microphone). A level of informality is acceptable, as opposed to a professional recording for public consumption. A lecturer can record supplementary lecture material in their own office, simply using a webcam and a microphone.
Departments who are interested in becoming involved in the pilot project, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge for participation during the pilot, although shared costing models are being considered for a future service.
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