In less than a decade, lecture recording technology has shifted from novelty to necessity in universities around the world. Study after study now finds students expect their institutions to invest in more — and more sophisticated — lecture capture tools in order to facilitate better learning experiences.
Adding to the chorus today is new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. After bringing Panopto’s lecture capture video platform to its classrooms, CU Anschutz invited all 1st and 2nd year students from the school’s Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy programs to weigh in on the value of the technology.
In their responses to the survey, the students at CU Anschutz joined their peers around the globe with an overwhelmingly positive view of the value and importance of having lecture recordings available as study aids.
Along with confirming the value of providing lecture recordings for students, CU Anschutz also queried its students as to what lecture capture feature they valued most. The school’s findings suggest that today’s students have moved beyond the first “anything is better than nothing” mindset that characterized most early lecture recording toolsets, and have now come to rely on more advanced features to help make the video content an even better study aid.
Technical Features Today’s Students Expect in Lecture Recordings
In today’s market, there is no shortage of potential options when it comes to lecture capture platform features. So which capabilities which made the most difference to the students at CU Anschutz?
Video content has always been notoriously difficult to search. Even today, most video platforms, even giants like YouTube, can only search by a recording’s title, tags, and description — a small fraction of the actual content of a video. And while that small amount may be enough to help the next latest 2 minute cat video go viral, today’s students have a greater need to meet.
The sheer amount of information shared in a lecture — recorded in videos that commonly run 60, 90, 120 minutes or more — mean that today’s lecture capture platforms need to go above and beyond the old standards of video content search, and index as much of the actual content of the video presentation itself as possible. To do just that, CU Anschutz relies on Panopto as the university’s video platform. Panopto’s Smart Search video content search capabilities index every word spoken, every word shown on-screen, every word included in presentation slides, and every word included in any added transcriptions, for every recording in the university’s Panopto video library. When students search, Panopto finds every moment their keyword occurs — and gives them the option to instantly fast-forward right to the relevant moment.
And according to the research, students have found that comprehensive video content search is absolutely essential. CU Anschutz reports the vast majority of students consider search a highly valuable feature that adds immensely to the utility of the lecture recordings.
While search enables students to instantly seek out a particular moment for review, another common use students have for recorded lectures is simply to re-live the original classroom session. Yet, as students’ lives are increasingly pressed for time between readings and papers, athletics and jobs, student groups, family visits, and spending time with friends, finding an available hour or two just to re-watch a lecturer’s presentation can be a difficult proposition.
Variable speed playback capabilities offer an easy solution to the dilemma. With Panopto, CU Anschutz’s students can choose to watch any recorded lecture at regular speed, or to change the playback speed — up to twice as fast for a quicker review, or down to half speed to make it easier to follow along with complex concepts or when the speaker is difficult to understand.
For students at CU Anschutz, variable playback speed was the single most valued lecture capture feature — more than 4 in 5 rated the capability as highly valuable.
The common stereotype of today’s students is that they come from a connected generation that is always online. And while there can be little doubt students today spend a significant amount of their time working, playing, and interacting online, their connection to the internet isn’t quite as permanent as it may seem. Be it on the bus, in a break room, outside on the quad, in a parent’s house, or in countless other data-less sites, there are still many places in the world where students won’t have a solid connection to the web — and thus, are often unable to access resources like lecture recordings online.
Here too, however, a new lecture capture feature can come to the rescue. For CU Anschutz, Panopto allows every lecture recording to be downloaded as a video podcast that students can save to their smartphones, tablets, or laptops and watch on-demand from anywhere, whether or not they’ve got a wifi signal.
Students at CU Anschutz raved about the flexibility video podcasts offer for enabling personalized on-demand learning from anywhere, with more than two thirds listing the feature as highly valuable.
Students’ Opinions on the Value of Recorded Lectures
Along with the features that made lecture capture most useful, the University of Colorado Denver also heard students loud and clear when it came to the simple value of lecture capture as part of the learning experience.
After rolling out Panopto on campus to 95% of its students, the majority of students found the technology was “extremely useful” for study and review, and all but a handful saw at least some value in the video.
So successful was the technology, it even made an impression on the students who didn’t get a chance to use it. Of the 5% of CU Anschutz students that didn’t experience a recorded lecture, more than 90% reported believing lecture capture would have been a useful addition to their unrecorded classes.
And notably, while a common concern among academics is that offering recorded classes will cause a spike in classroom absenteeism, the vast majority of CU Anschutz students reported that for their own use, lecture capture was simply an enhancement to the classroom enhancement, not a substitute for it. More than 9 in 10 reported that availability of lecture capture had little to no impact on their attendance.
Lecture capture technology is quickly becoming a student favorite and an essential resource. The results found at CU Anschutz follow those seen by Georgia Tech, Newcastle University, the University of Windsor, and many others.
A Simple, Proven Way to Enhance Learning Experiences
Lecture capture is all about flexible learning. Students come back to recorded lectures prior to exams and finals, and tools that enable targeted content review — for example, keyword search and high speed playback — help students get to the points they need right when they need them.
Likewise, as the modern student is often over scheduled and pulled in six directions at once, features that make review possible on their terms — via podcast, or at high-speed — help students fit studying into their lives more conveniently.
We’re proud to help the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus provide its students with a truly modern learning experience, and with a study aid that goes above and beyond simple replay to help learners really get to the information they need.
This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog