Earlier this year we asked staff and students to tell us what they think about podcasting lectures at Queen Mary. The survey was intended to capture views on the Q-Review lecture capture service, as well as general feelings of recording lectures, whether the Q-Review service had been used or not.
The term ‘podcasting’ was used loosely to describe a means of recording content – primarily, in this case, recording of lectures (audio, video and/or computer screen) and distributing these recordings to an intended audience.
There were 83 staff responses and 614 student reponses to the survey. 36% of staff had made recordings over the past year and 67% of these had used the Q-Review service. 100% of those who had used the Q-Review service would recommend the service to others, with one user stating “Outstanding facility, outstandingly well supported”.
Survey participants could enter into a prize draw for an Amazon Kindle. Dr. Katherine Fleming, from the school of English and Drama, was the lucky winner of a Kindle. Dr. Fleming shared with us that although she hasn’t done any recordings, she would be interested in using the Q-Review service in the future but feels that more guidance and advice on the implications of podcasting in the university would be helpful before embarking too enthusiastically on the service.
Other staff respondents expressed worry of lectures being replaced by podcasts – one respondent commented that
“There is so much interaction that occurs in lectures. The relationship between the lecturer and the student cohort is part of the learning — and teaching — experience. Face time with students is pedagogically advantageous to them. And allows me to read their faces, respond in the moment, and be receptive to their learning.”
While these concerns are understandable, it should be stressed that the Q-Review service is not meant to be a replacement for lectures but has been used as a supplement to the face-to-face classroom experience. This is also addressed in the Code of Practice for the service.
Other staff worried that recordings would affect attendance. However, staff should be assured that there was strong evidence that students still value face-to-face interactions. Research indicates that lecture capture has little, if any, impact on attendance – one student pointed out that
“Recordings are helpful when you’re absent – recordings aren’t the cause for absence.”
82.2% of students indicated that their attendance would remain the same. Students commented that recordings are used in addition to lecture time and allow them to recap areas that they may have had difficulty in understanding the first time around, allowing them to go over material covered in class at a slower pace, especially if they missed something in class and had gaps in their notes. Students still valued the interaction and engagement experienced in face-to-face time.
Students were very forthcoming with their feedback and their comments give a real insight to how they feel the technology is beneficial to their learning. One student stated
“I find it difficult to absorb the entire lecture whilst sat taking notes..recorded lectures have been invaluable to my current high grades.”
Another student commented
“Rather than rushing to note ‘everything’ the lecturer says, I could be more pro-active in my engagement with the presentation.”
Some students were also concerned about loss of face-time with their teachers, and stressed that the service should be used as an aid in their studies, not a replacement for lectures. (Refer to QM Podcasting Survey – the Student Perspective).
Other staff expressed concern about intellectual property, performance management and surveillance issues (to see how these issues are currently addressed, see the Code of Practice).
There were also some very positive feelings about the technology from staff. 46.6% of staff respondents acknowledged that the ability to pause and rewind is the most valuable aspect of recordings, while 25.9% felt that recordings were most valuable because it allows for ‘Flexible teaching and learning – as lecture time can be used more creatively’.
One staff member who had tried the technology commented
“I was quite nervous about doing this at first. Some of my lectures are quite complicated, and I was worried about mistakes that I may make, and also about student attendance. But so far, so good! Students thank me for participating so it is obviously very popular with them.”
Another staff member pointed out that
“Any form of multi-media that facilitates the passing of information from teacher to student is a valuable tool both in learning and teaching. The use of modern technology should be embraced and encouraged to achieve this goal.”
Overall the survey produced mixed feelings about the technology from staff, though the majority were in favour of it. 70% feel that there is value in lectures being recorded and made available to students. It is still an opt-in service and uptake continues to rise steadily.
If you are interested in making recordings for your students, or if you would like to learn more about the different options available – whether recording a live event or pre-recorded content – then please get in touch with us at email@example.com
You may also be interested in:
- QM Podcasting Survey – the Student Perspective
- Q-Review Lecture Capture Service
- Case Study – Law lecturer shares her Q-Review experience