Lecture Capture at Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe and one of the 8 Danish universities. CBS has been recording lectures since 2010 and using Panopto’s video solution to record lectures since 2013. Lecture capture is used to assist students in their general studies and more specifically to provide a service to those who are unable to attend. The number of courses being recorded is increasing year by year (19 courses in 2015) and at some departments lecture capture has been in use for several consecutive years. In the past year, CBS has experienced an exponential increase in the amount of lecture recordings viewed by the students, compared to previous years.
In courses where lecture capture has been available, students have taken full advantage of the recordings, where course evaluations have shown that they are delighted with the option of using online lectures as an additional learning resource. In 2015, we saw a massive growth in the students’ use of the lecture capture recordings. According to the viewing analytics, the number of views per course have increased dramatically in most of the courses recorded. This made us pose the question: “Are we dealing with a new generation of students, who find the availability of lectures online, to be a natural part of their learning process?”
What some students thought about lecture capture:
“The lecture recordings helped me a lot. I got all the key points and a better understanding, as I was able to pause and rewind and so on”
“They helped a lot! I could pause the lecture, take the important notes and start it again”
“They helped me a great deal. Some of them I watched several times, if I had found something particularly difficult”
77.675 minutes viewed compared to 24.941 per year, the year before!
What took us by surprise was that in some courses, viewing minutes have tripled in 2015. In the course ‘Theoretical Positions’, viewing minutes increased from 24.941 minutes for the 18 lectures recorded in 2014 to 77.675 minutes for the same amount of lectures and number of students, in 2015. As the same pattern of increased viewing was visible in most of the courses recorded in 2015, we wanted to ask the students what they think of learning technologies such as lecture capture and the idea of lectures being distributed online.
Therefore, at the end of the semester, we sent a survey out to the students who attended ‘Theoretical Positions’ and ‘Strategic Communications’ courses, and asked them to give feedback on their experience with the lecture recordings. The survey was sent to the students, where their feedback gave us insight as to their reason for using the recordings, their view on how lecture capture helped them in their studies and the role that they see for lecture capture in their future studies. Knowing already the large number of viewing minutes, it was no big surprise that the students expressed their enthusiasm for the recordings. Nevertheless, here are some of their comments, explaining why they made use of the lecture recordings.
The reasons students mentioned that they were watching the recorded lectures
1. Not being able to participate at the lecture for different reasons:
• “I was not able to participate due to work, sickness or double bookings”
• “I had some overlapping courses last semester, which meant that I was very glad that the lectures were accessible online”
2. According to students, the recordings helped them to better prepare for the exam:
• “For the exam I saw all the lectures again to be better prepared”
• “For the exam I watched specific lectures as I forgot some definitions, which I wanted to use in my exam paper”
3. Recordings helped them control or regulate their learning pace. This in turn helped them in taking notes, as they were able to pause or revisit lectures:
• “It was nice to take notes again if something was missed in class”
• “I could pause the lecture, take the important notes and start it again”
4. The course was difficult or there were some specific difficult topics. ‘Theoretical Positions’, for example, stretches over 18 lectures over the course of 3 months, making the possibility to revisit lectures, seemed to be valuable for students:
• “The course was a quite difficult, which was the main reason I watched the videos”
• “It was a good way to refresh the lecture, if there was something I did not understand during class. It is easier to understand complicated points in the lectures if you watch them again”
• “They helped me a great deal. Some of them I watched several times, if I had found some things in particular to be difficult”
The main theme that explains why students appreciate lecture capture recordings can be condensed to one word: flexibility. In the students’ replies, we saw them refer to flexibility in several different contexts. 1) flexibility in terms of the limited amount of time students have to balance between work and studies, 2) flexibility in terms of physical restrictions, which can include illness or being in exchange abroad, 3) flexibility to follow the lectures at their own time and at their own pace, and 4) flexibility in terms of the other courses they attend (some students had electives that overlapped, with lectures being conducted at the same time).
As students face an increasing pressure to complete their studies in the time frame afforded them, they come to appreciate the increased flexibility that follows the lecture capture initiative.
Here are but some of the students comments on this matter:
• “Lecture capture gives much better flexibility to still “attend” all classes even though you cannot show up in person, (because the courses are overlapping). E.g. when having electives”
• “It’s a fantastic tool for students that have a busy schedule or just lectures that collide with each other”
• “Flexibility with the study jobs in case you cannot attend, and the option of recapping a lecture”
“We have the technology, why not use it?”
Students were disappointed that none of their other courses were being recorded, especially since the lecture capture technology, Panopto, is widely available for professors and lecturers. As one student expresses his frustration by saying “Sometimes you just can’t attend (the class) because of several different reasons, including illness, and I think that if you have the will to learn you should have the opportunity to do so. We have the technology, why not use it?”
Students adore lecture recordings, but how can universities benefit from it?
Many of the comments made by the students, were about how the recordings help them in their studies, where they mentioned flexibility, the ability to learn at their own pace, overlapping courses and the difficulty to attend classes due to internship, illness, work etc. Can we then assume, that recorded lectures might be a tool that helps students graduate on time? Looking at the comments on the survey on how much it helped them and more specifically at what these two students wrote, we assume it might in some cases.
• “Yes, because I moved away from Copenhagen the last month of the semester, so I could still attend school by watching the videos”
• “Since I live in Sweden and work 50% besides school, it helped me to catch up on what I missed, when I did not have the opportunity to attend a lecture”
The specific reason for the number of minutes viewed, increasing so exponentially, was difficult to pinpoint. What we were able to identify though, is that this generation of students immensely appreciates the flexibility afforded to their studies by lecture capture technology. Students saw it as a great tool to assist in their learning, both in situations where they could not attend lectures but also for repetition and reflection on lectures, which they already have attended but wanted to review in preparation for the exam.
For educational institutions there are also advantages in providing students with flexibility. By helping students in their studies and giving them tools to support their learning process, maybe we would see more students graduate in the future. At the very least, one thing is clear: students make good use of lecture recordings, and if it were an option, they’d like to see more of their lectures recorded. As a way of finalizing this case study, here are some of the comments made by the students when asked if they think that lectures should be recorded in the future again?
• “Definitely yes. It is a big help”
• “Yes, It helped me a lot in understanding”
• “Absolutely, the videos allow the student to study much more thoroughly”
• “All lectures should be recorded, it’s a really big help when you study for the exam”
• “Please, please, please: Make this a common thing in ALL lectures!!!”