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Lecture Capture Benefits Noted

The demand for lecture capture continues to grow on campuses and some studies show that the benefits are clear. Here are three different perspectives on the topic:

A 2008 survey of almost 7,500 University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate found that an overwhelming majority of respondents (87 percent) said that they would prefer a course that offered online lecture capture to one that did not, and they would be willing to pay an extra fee on a course by course basis for this service. 47 percent of the undergraduate respondents had taken classes in which lectures were recorded and made available online. The main benefits that they noted were making up for a missed class, the convenience of watching lectures on demand, better retention of class material, improved test scores, and help with reviewing material before class.

In Neil Morris's undergraduate biology classes at Leeds University, students had access to podcasts of key parts of lectures. Each podcast contained a number of multiple choice questions and students used their mobile phone to text message their answers and received scores and individual feedback promptly. Audio files were made available to students via subscription to an RSS feed. There was a six percent improvement in the controlled test scores of the group that had access to the podcasted lectures and a majority of these students said that they would like to have the ability to listen to podcasts for all of their lectures. Read more about Leeds' podcasting case studies.

Dani McKinney, a psychologist at the State University of New York in Fredonia, looked at how podcasts affected the grades of a sample of college students. Her study compared two groups of 32 undergraduates who were tested on a lecture on visual perception from an introductory psychology course. One group attended in-person and received slide printouts of the presentation and the other did not attend the lecture but downloaded a podcast of it (audio synched to the slide presentation) and a copy of the slides. As a group, students who downloaded the podcast did 9 points better than those who did not, averaging 71 out of 100 points on the test. But there was also a difference within the group that viewed the podcast; those who listened one or more times and took notes tested better and had an average score of 77. In essence, it wasn't the fact that podcasts were made available but how students used them that made the difference. Read more about McKinney's podcast study.