Teaching & Learning Champions 27: Use of lecture capture to support students in online courses
July 21, 2021
Today on Teaching & Learning Champions, we’re joined by Angela Hadlock, Assistant Professor of Radiology, as we talk about the use of lecture capture to support students in online courses.
Thanks for listening to TLC @ ACC!
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[Matthew Evins:] Welcome to another episode of Teaching and Learning Champions. I’m Matt Evins, Director of Academic Technology in the Teaching and Learning Excellence Division at ACC. Before I introduce our special guest, applications for TLEDs year-long Teaching and Learning Academy Cohort are now open. The program is designed by faculty with evidence-based teaching strategies, reflective practice, and teaching innovation. Essential to the Teaching Learning Academy is a creation of a cohort of faculty who will learn from each other by exploring the scholarship, art, and passion of teaching. Learn more and apply online at austincc.edu/tla. Today, I’m joined by Angela Hadlock, Assistant Professor of Radiology, as we talk about the use of lecture capture to support students in online courses. Angela, thanks for joining me today.
[Angela Hadlock:] Oh, thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure.
[Matthew Evins:] Great. Well, let’s go ahead and jump into the questions. For those listeners who may not be familiar with the concept of lecture capture, can you provide your interpretation of a definition for us?
[Angela Hadlock:] Sure. Generally speaking, lecture capture is the recording of a lecture or presentation and then making that content available to students online. So depending on how you are teaching, lecture capture could be the way you deliver material remotely. It could involve recording a live classroom session, recording your presentation as well as your interactions with students, and it could also be recording an instructional video for your course.
[Matthew Evins:] Great, that’s an excellent definition. How long and what types of those examples you gave, have you been using lecture capture in your courses?
[Angela Hadlock:] Well, I began using lecture capture in my courses in the spring of 2019. So if we think back to that time, that was before COVID, and at that time I was learning a lot about active learning strategies and the flipped classroom at various professional development events and I knew that those were certain strategies that I wanted to incorporate in my classroom. So lecture capture was a way to deliver content outside of class so that I could use class time for activities like group work and meaningful discussions and just encouraging collaboration between students. So what I ended up doing was creating 10-minute videos that students would view before class and that contained the core content for that day’s lesson, and then class would begin with a quiz, and I would encourage students to watch the video to prepare for that quiz. Then the rest of class time was spent on those activities, really expanding on the content, reinforcing key concepts, and resolving any questions or misunderstandings. So in a nutshell, lecture capture gave me a time — gave me time so I could design activities that moved up Bloom’s taxonomy. Since the pandemic began, I’ve taught many synchronous and asynchronous courses, and lecture capture has become my way of delivering content to students, and those recent events have taught me that I need to be flexible and have a contingency plan. So lecture capture is also a way that I ensure class continuity because sometimes we have the technology, I call it “Wi-Fi drama,” or technology isn’t working, and that can really impact a synchronous course, and then there’s also times when perhaps campus is closed due to an ice storm or other weather related events. So lecture capture can really help you ensure class continuity.
[Matthew Evins:] So in terms of the — you had mentioned the flipped classroom model as being where you started with lecture capture. When the college moved all the classes fully virtually as a result of the pandemic, did you use your lecture capture recordings in the same way where you were trying to do it as a flipped classroom model, or did you take a different approach with how you were using those recordings in your class?
[Angela Hadlock:] I had two different pathways that I used when we went online. I still use — for some of my courses, I use the pre-recorded lectures as a way of encouraging students to prepare for class, and then when I had a synchronous online session, we would play games. We would review, you know, those key concepts. Then I had also asynchronous courses where I just delivered content through lecture capture. So there are a variety of ways you can incorporate lecture capture into your course.
[Matthew Evins:] Great. What do you know about how your students have been using those lecture capture recordings for your course? What feedback have you received from them, and what have you seen in terms of impact on student success?
[Angela Hadlock:] I’ve heard from a few students and they really like the ability to watch content when it’s convenient for them. So for example, some of my courses were at 8:00 a.m., and we all know that there are some students that will roll out of bed at 7:59 and they are just not ready to absorb the content when you are delivering it in a synchronous session. So they also like the ability to pause and repeat. This can be especially helpful for students who are English as a Second Language or students that are really new to the discipline, or just for really challenging content, sometimes it’s just helpful for them to hear it, just go back, replay that a couple more times just to make sure they understand. I heard a lot of feedback about the length of the videos and the students really like videos that are less than 10 minutes long. I had a few that told me, you know, “Angela, if it’s over 10 minutes, I’m not watching it,” and I was like, really? I spend a lot of time on those videos. But they definitely, you know, I would say 5 to 10 minutes is definitely the length that students like to see video content presented in. I actually embedded questions in my videos, so as the video was playing at certain points, questions would pop up and really just check the understanding from the learners, and the students really like this because it drew their attention to the key concepts and the information that was critical for them to learn from the lesson. It kind of helped them know what was important. I’ve had students in the past tell me, with videos, they would try and write down every single thing that was said in the video, so sometimes having these embedded questions can help them know what’s really important. And the embedded questions also provide feedback on how well they are learning the content, because they may be watching the video feeling really good about things, but if they can’t answer a question, then they know, okay, maybe I don’t really understand this concept. Maybe I need to go back and listen again. So those embedded questions really help provide that immediate feedback. And a lot of the students, they like to use the videos as refreshers for unit or comprehensive final exams. They’ll spend a few times just “Let me just refresh this content. I’m just going to spend 10 minutes watching this video.” And sometimes they’ll even tell me they put me on chipmunk mode. They do the speed — they change the speed to 1.5 or 2, so I somewhat sound like a chipmunk, but they say that’s a way for them to easily review for a final exam.
[Matthew Evins:] Great. I really like the feedback that you received of the 5 to 10-minute length for the videos. You know, there’s lots of research out there that shows that students’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and so there’s the idea or mentality that the lecture capture recordings need to continue to get smaller and smaller. But it’s interesting that your students have reported to you that those 5 to 10-minute recordings really are kind of the sweet spot for the particular length.
[Angela Hadlock:] Yeah, and I’m sure it really depends on the content that’s being presented as well. I have in the past also recorded positioning videos for our radiology department and I kept those all under five minutes and that was — they reported those types of demonstration videos were great just to see the skill performed and to review the key concepts, so I’m sure it really depends on the content being presented, but definitely, I would say less than 10 minutes.
[Matthew Evins:] Great. You had mentioned something about where lecture capture videos are really good is for those students where English is not their primary language, or their first language. What things have you done or strategies have you employed to make sure that the videos you’re recording are easy for those particular students to be able to absorb? Are there tips that you’ve come across or things that you’ve done to make those easier for those types of students?
[Angela Hadlock:] I definitely encourage faculty to add captions to their videos in what they’re lecture-capturing. I think that is a great way to ensure accessibility in your content, and many of the lecture capture tools offer a way for you to go in and edit the captions as well. So I definitely think reviewing the captions and editing them to make sure they are correct with what is being reflected in your video. And I also like to — I’ll go through the content, but then at the end, I’ll just do a quick summary, you know, a summary in 30 minutes, this is what we learned in this video, and hopefully that will, again, help those students hear it one more time and really cement the content for them.
[Matthew Evins:] Great. As campuses start to reopen, what do you see as the future of lecture capture for you and the courses that you’re teaching?
[Angela Hadlock:] I feel I’ll continue to use lecture capture in my classroom. I really love the flipped learning model and that’s where students will consume the content before class, and then I free up class time for those more interactive and active learning strategies. So I really see myself continuing on with lecture capture, and something new that I want to try with this lecture capture technology is I really want to build some video scenarios or simulations and this is a way — just another way to assess students’ understanding and really bring in more real-world applications. I teach in health sciences, so having real-world scenarios is really important to help students learn the content.
[Matthew Evins:] I think the last question that I have is for those instructors listening who have never explored lecture capture or recording themselves at all, where do you recommend that they begin? What kind of advice do you have on how to get started with this?
[Angela Hadlock:] I have three tips for someone just thinking about lecture capture. The first tip I would have would be to recommend that they check out VidGrid. This is one of the lecture capture tools that is available through ACC. For me, it was very user-friendly and very easy to get up and running with VidGrid. I know more information can be found on the TLED website, and VidGrid does have a library of instructional videos to help you get started. My second tip would be to start small and, also, use the pause button. So sometimes just starting with recording a video announcement for your class, just something small, you can record an announcement, then watch it, and really think about do you like how you presented the content, do you like how you appear in your video. And I also feel video creation is easier in more bite-sized chunks, so I typically record in small sections and don’t really try to record a full 10-minute video all at one time. And with VidGrid, it’s easy to combine videos, so once you’ve recorded a section, you can move on to another section and then easily combine those videos later. And the last tip I have is to really try to make your video interactive. Many lecture capture tools and VidGrid, they offer a variety of question types that you can embed in the video. You know, there’s multiple choice, but there’s also short answer, there’s select all that apply, and this is a great way to check for understanding and provide that immediate feedback to your students.
[Matthew Evins:] Excellent. Those are some great tips for getting started. I really appreciate that. You had reference the web page on the TLED website. That link will be available in the blog post that we publish with this episode as well, so people will have direct access to that. Well, Angela, before I let you go, I want to, first of all, thank you for your time and talking to me about how you’re using lecture capture, but one last question that we do ask all of the interviewees. I know it’s only Tuesday, but is there anything giving you pride this week?
[Angela Hadlock:] I would say this week, you know, it’s towards the end of the summer semester and in my department we have students that are about to graduate, and so I’m really excited for these students, and I’ve gone out and visited some of them in clinic this week, and so just seeing their progress throughout their time in our program and just getting really excited for them, and them pursuing their careers. It’s just a really special time. Anytime that students are about to graduate, especially with this group of students, they went through COVID, so they had just began our program and then COVID happened, so seeing their resiliency and seeing how far they’ve come is giving me a lot of pride this week.
[Matthew Evins:] Excellent. Well, that’s a really important thing to be prideful for. Angela, thank you very much for your time today. We really appreciate it and have a good day.
[Angela Hadlock:] All right, thank you.
[Matthew Evins:] Well, that wraps up another episode of Teaching and Learning Champions. Don’t forget that you can read episode transcripts on the TLED blog and find links to any resources we referenced during the show. I also encourage you to subscribe to the ACC District podcasts on any of your preferred podcast apps or listen to individual episodes on the TLED website. You can learn more about the Teaching and Learning Excellence Division and keep up with everything relevant to the faculty experience at Austin Community College by subscribing to the weekly newsletter. Simply text ACCTLED in all caps to 22828 to subscribe. And, of course, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at ACCTLED. Thank you for tuning in and we’ll chat next time on TLC at ACC.
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