Play it Again: Classroom Capture Gives Students New Ways to Study

New use of a classroom capture recording system invites students to listen to or watch their class lectures long after the bell rings. In a classroom capture pilot this fall; hosted jointly by Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA), ClassTech (OIT), and the Poole College of Management; up to 50 instructors will test the capabilities and applications of the Mediasite classroom capture system. While Mediasite has been used in NC State classrooms since 2008, primarily for Distance Education classroom recordings, this pilot is an exciting expansion of classroom capture services open to any instructor whose class is scheduled in a room with Mediasite equipment.

“In the past faculty have had to research, test and create methods to record classroom content for students,” said Laura Stephenson, DELTA’s Associate Director of Academic Technology Coordination.  “Some of these methods were successful, but others made managing recorded content frustrating and difficult for instructors.  Now, with a seamless, automated workflow, instructors record their lecture, and within 15 minutes after class, students are able to review the lectures online. “

Exactly what will students be able to play back after class?  That depends on the type of equipment in a particular classroom. Mediasite is a hardware/software solution that allows instructors to automatically or manually record the classroom video, audio and content from peripheral devices (laptop, PC, document camera). Not all classrooms have all capabilities at this point, but equipment options are expanding each semester. Currently all Mediasite-equipped classrooms have audio and notes (presentation, document camera) recording capabilities, and many have cameras. To learn more about the 120 classrooms across campus with Mediasite equipment, visit DELTA’s Classroom Capture Rooms List.

Watching or listening to classroom lectures and discussions allows students to review material multiple times, including right before tests, which should help increase retention of the material. The recordings are not intended to serve as a substitute for attending class, but as a way to reinforce material. At this point, the pilot team has targeted courses of all sizes, with an effort to include all colleges interested in participating.

Instructors can link recorded lectures directly into their class’s Moodle site for easy student access.  They can also monitor student usage–through weekly or monthly reports–to see how often students are using the recordings and if there is a correlation with student learning. Lectures are restricted to students enrolled in the on-campus section, but instructors can add additional sections if they desire.

Operating Mediasite equipment to record a class is fairly simple for an instructor with moderate technical abilities. A brief equipment training session is required and the sponsoring organizations offer limited classroom support. DELTA also offers a workshop on the use of Mediasite, one-on-one training, and resources to help instructors follow best practices for recording lectures.

Pending successful pilot results, the classroom capture system will be open in spring 2012 to all NC State instructors teaching in a Mediasite-equipped classroom. To learn more about classroom capture at NC State, contact Laura Stephenson at mediasite-help@ncsu.edu.

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