Lecture Capture Needs To Retire

It is no secret that I have been at war with the shortcomings of using lecture capture in our core courses for some time.  The Exchange,  Welcome to the Majors, Ambassadors, Career Days, and The Failure Competition are all efforts to inject more soul and discomfort into the student experience in the college.  They represent skirmishes in the battle to create a culture that differentiates graduates rather than standardizes them. Transformation requires engagement and doesn’t happen inside your comfort zone.  That some people want to buy education and not really consume it (I stole this phrase, I can’t remember who first said it), doesn’t change this reality one bit.

To fully realize the vision and transform all our students, lecture capture needs to retire. It stands in direct contrast to everything we are trying to achieve.  Can you explain “the four Ps of marketing”using lecture capture? Sure.   But, does lecture capture provoke  conversations that help students change their view of the world, see the opportunities that await them, and differentiate them on the road to success? Does it make students uncomfortable? Better risk-takers, collaborators or data-driven decision-makers? Nope. If you wanted to create the best undergraduate program possible  in 2016 to prepare students for what lies ahead, is lecture capture a vehicle you would employ to help create it? (Fill in your response here.) 

Is retiring lecture capture going to be easy? No, it’s going to be incredibly hard.  Small classes won’t pencil and no one is sending us a truck of money. Will it happen tomorrow? Of course not.  But, the secret sauce of UCF is that we are forced to create unconventional solutions to scale intimacy and by doing so, we invent a new model of higher education. Innovation, investment and grit are going to be key.  I’m going to need a small army to help explore alternatives and settle on a new approach that better achieves our goals in the next two to three years.  Who’s with me?

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20 thoughts on “Lecture Capture Needs To Retire

  1. Lecture capture is great for students who attend the lectures in person but wants to watch it again to catch they might have missed the first time. Its like a watching a movie for a second time..you always catch things you missed from the first time.

  2. As someone who taught ACG 2021 for four terms, I couldn’t agree more that there has to be a better way to engage students and encourage them to learn than the lecture capture format. Count me in to be part of the solution!

  3. Lecture Capture is a great tool in order to pause during a lecture and clarify something that might’ve lost you. I also believe that the primary core are all live classes and only the business core classes for all business majors are lecture captures. This means that the most relevant classes towards your major meet in person. Lecture capture doesn’t stunt learning; it allows for more learning to take place. It also teaches students how to manage their time because it is their responsibility to watch it on their own.

  4. As a former teaching assistant for a large class (ACG2071), the saying “you can take a horse to water, but can’t make them drink” is very true. I think the lecture captures are helpful for students like myself who work full-time and they allow us flexibility to graduate faster since they’re “anytime” lectures. We’re all adults here bettering our future.

  5. In addition to the large video streamed lecture courses, we should offer “stand alone” sections of the primary core classes both on regional and on our main campus with consistent, standardized assessments and learning outcomes so one class isn’t “easier” than another. Students will have the option of either signing up for a video streamed course OR have the face-to-face interaction that educational intimacy requires. I know this might seem like backpedaling since we eliminated those sections but it may be worth giving it another shot with the right faculty training. We can use in house faculty with reduced teaching loads to fill these lines and, if necessary, hire a few PQ faculty.

    And the most effective way to scale academic intimacy…is one student at a time. If all 120 faculty had rolling office hours, I think we could make that happen – or at least move the needle!

    just my two cents…

  6. Until UCF has classrooms that are adequate enough to fit every student inside during class hours, lecture capture cannot be retired. Population control in the COBA is essential in achieving the riddance of lecture capture. The reason why students do not leave their comfort zone is because there is no room beyond it. The classroom sizes decrease progressively and eventually students realize they can save the hassle of going to class and use lecture capture.
    Until UCF has a plan to slow growth within the next 2-3 years, then maybe lecture capture can phase out, but until then it will cause more problems than solutions.
    I am with you on this, strategy on a budget will be the main challenge.

  7. Perhaps there’s a way to use technology (simulations, self-directed learning, flipped classroom tools, etc.) to bridge the gap between knee-to-knee interactions of the small class and the anonymity of the large lecture hall. If we can find ways to engage the students individually outside of the lecture hall, then presenting academic theory to a mass audience using lecture capture doesn’t seem quite so onerous.

  8. If you are to get rid of lecture capture, will you provide more night classes then for the students who work 9 – 5 and can’t attend a class that starts in the middle of a work day? That is what I love about lecture capture and I have been able to be successful this semester watching a recording of my Capstone lecture on my own time while working a full time job. Yes it doesn’t ” provoke conversations that help students change their view of the world,” but my job already does that as well as the mandatory Career Professionalism classes with their mandatory career points. And the Career Professionalism series career point events don’t seem to be catered towards students who work a full-time job either. It isn’t feasible for those of us who choose to work and go to school to conform to your schedule of classes that are pretty much during the hours of 9 – 5.

  9. Read on: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7044.pdf. Many other prestigious universities have lecture capture, distance learning, etc. No need to retire it, it is very useful, it is becoming essential. Thousands, if not millions, of active and retired military, single moms, sick at home, working individuals use it. I dare to say, lecture capture/distance learning is barely starting.

  10. Nhu and I just had a conversation about this on Saturday. I took all four LC courses during the same semester, so I was only required to be at school 50 minutes per week and for exams. This allowed me to have plenty of time to do other things including an internship at Lockheed Martin, which provided unique opportunities to learn what you don’t learn in the classroom. However, this was at the expense of “buying” my education instead of consuming it and deeply understanding the material.

    A question to ask: do we wish to deeply educate students on the curriculum or prepare them for the real world? Can you have one without sacrificing the other?

    • Alex: As a professional school, we kind of think that the curriculum helps prepare you for the real world. Student feedback seems to confirm this in large majorities of students say their coursework prepared them for their careers. So I don’t think it can be a one or the other choice.

  11. I would love to be part of a solution for this situation. Each semester I approach these mega sized classes, I try to determine ways to innovate and engage when teaching the 4Ps and beyond. .. but it is often disheartening knowing I will only every interact with about 15% of the class. Though at the same time I realize that we have an enormous student body which would require numerous live sections… let’s put our heads together and think about this!

  12. You pose a very interesting and difficult question due to the complexities that are involved with Lecture Capture. It serves a lot of needs and has numerous benefits for students but for every benefit it creates, it also creates a way for students to become complacent.

    Personally, I treated my undergraduate more like a business than a traditional college experience. Knowing that in order for a business to be successful all aspects of it must be there and properly maintained. I can be the worlds best account, but if no one knows that I am the world’s best accountant I would never make a dime. Knowing that I was only one piece of the puzzle, I made sure to surround myself with intelligent colleagues in other majors that I could rely on. In a round about way, I started forming my Capstone group on my very first day of business classes. This allowed me to learn the basics from the core business classes but have a subject matter expert to rely on for more complicated matters. I understand that I am not the typical student but maybe a cohort style element could be used within a lab portion for the course or combined with other possible solutions.

    I have had the opportunity to watch the college grow and evolve, and it will be interesting to watch how the college decides to tackle this problem.

  13. Hello Dean Jarley,

    My name is Chandra Kethi-Reddy, and I’m a student of UCF in Industrial Engineering, Mathematics, and Philosophy with a minor in Finance.

    Lecture capture has been extremely useful for me in classes like ACG 2021 (which I took with Dr. Dennis who commented above) and even my current Cost Engineering class (with Dr. Calabrese in the Industrial Engineering department). I disagree that it interferes with getting students out of their comfort zone: because of lecture capture, I am able to occasionally skip classes in order to go out in the world to do things that were going on during class for my businesses and projects. I can then watch the lectures at a later time without missing the content of the class. I make cost-benefit analyses all the time when it comes to skipping classes, but when there’s lecture capture, the risk of missing class decreases substantially so I can do other things that I think matter for having a great education.

    I have recently been funded to go to Ohio to present at a major mathematics conference on my ambitious new Calculus 1 syllabus. The idea is to create what we call an “Open Core Curriculum” where the class requires you to grapple with something that has not been completed in the world. If students cannot create a project for themselves, the default option is to work on creating or significantly expanding a Wikipedia page on something relevant to the course subject matter. In this way, the very process they use to reinforce the content they are learning actually makes the subject matter more accessible to the world at large, while also helping students build skills in communication, writing, and research. The ultimate goal is to get the world to stop seeing education as the mere consumption of knowledge and to start seeing it as training people in the practice of producing and making use of knowledge. Lecture capture allows professors to assign lectures from earlier classes as homework so they don’t have to teach the same thing again. This way, in class, teachers can focus more on the things that actually engage students, on having the kinds of conversations you want to see in classes, while leaving the dry material to cover at home. There are innumerably other reasons I support it, but ultimately, I see lecture capture as a tool to facilitate a more “uncomfortable” and transformative curriculum instead of an obstacle.

    Count me in! I plan on expanding these ideas to a planetary scale, but wanted to start in mathematics at UCF. If you’d like to work on this in your department, I am willing to volunteer my time and suggestions to make this happen. I can speak in more detail in person.

  14. Pretty sure the truck of money you are looking for came in the form of the collective student bodies tuition. You charge 600+ for a course that fits 1500 individuals. This comes close to 1 million dollars in revenue for a course taught by a single instructor (who one would assume teaches multiple courses). Maybe we should stop spending money on new bureaucratic institutions and expensive renovations and instead pump the money into smaller class sizes and engaging your students. As a Junior who transferred from a Community College I have been absolutely underwhelmed by the quality of my education. I spend more than twice as much and receive far less in return.

    • The cost of the renovation of the common areas in BA-1 are designed to enhance student engagement (see my blog from today) and come at a very small fraction of the cost that sustaining smaller class sizes in common core courses would require. Additionally the extra money generated from our common core courses are used to offset the deficits produced by the much smaller class sizes students experience in their major as well as fund the other student engagement and service activities noted in the blog post.

      I’m sorry your experience in the college hasn’t met your expectations. The transition from community college to the university is challenging for lots of students. One reason, among many, is that the culture of the University is very different from the community college. It requires students to be much more proactive in planning and managing their experiences and in seeking out engagement opportunities than is true at the community college. If you want to be an “anon student” here, no one will stop you or come to your rescue. But,if you take the time to look around and explore the possibilities you’ll find an almost infinite number of ways to engage with a lot of very interesting and talented people. We explain all of this in the street smarts sessions run by our Ambassadors in The Exchange. Those sessions start in two weeks. You might want to check one out.

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