The London School of Economics hosted the Echo360 Active Learning Conference this year and it proved to be a useful opportunity to hear other institutions’ experiences, differing approaches to lecture capture expansion, plus find out what Echo360 are including in their roadmap for developments.
Talks from the London School of Economics (LSE), Kings College London (KCL), The Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Loughborough University and Michigan University, were insightful, explaining how they expanded the lecture capture service and what challenges they faced. LSE, KCL and Loughborough all expanded in phases, with student demand being a main catalyst, with them adopting an opt-out approach – capturing teaching activities in rooms of 20 capacity or greater. Interestingly, The Queensland University of Technology chose to allow lecturers to opt-in, with lectures not captured automatically. The lecturers would need to sign in using software on the podium PC and then start and stop the recordings as they wished. The majority of lecturers have been using the lecture capture in this way and Matthew Clayton, the Service Manager, stated that feedback has been very positive with staff loving the simplicity of scheduling adhoc captures. There was some feedback from the conference delegates on the day expressing that they were surprised so many staff adopted the technology so keenly, however I believe this could be due to the academics being of a technological-mindset, being that the institution is one which is technology driven.
‘…Lecture capture sabotaged by staff’
The institutions’ experiences of expansion were not without their hiccups. QUT allowed users to request scheduled recordings, for ease, however bad timetabling data resulted in some recordings clashing and others capturing empty rooms. This experience was echoed by Trevor Baxter from KCL, who stated that after expanding their lecture capture service substantially, from capturing approximately 6 activities a day to over 220 captures on the first day of the new term. Of the 221 captures, 16 were labelled ‘failed captures’ with 10 of those being due to poor timetabling data. Trevor spoke of a reluctance from some staff to use the technology and was openly candid in discussing some delays which he faced in expanding the service and some sabotage, with users disconnecting microphones to ensure that they weren’t captured, unknowingly disrupting captures for other presenters too. (Unfortunately, this is an something which we have encountered at QM too!)
It proved interesting to hear the other institutions’ success stories (and struggles along the way), however I found the most interesting talk to be that of Dr. Perry Samson’s, who spoke of his work at Michigan University – of which I had heard great things already. I found Dr. Samson’s presentation to be particularly useful as he comes from an academic background, being a professor of atmospheric science. He addressed a number of the questions which I had wanted to find more information about – that of finding relationships between student behaviour and achievement.
The University of Michigan is using Echo360’s new Active Learning Platform which provides a ‘rich suite of data’ which Dr. Samson used to illustrate correlation between:
- Student attendance and achievement
- Student participation and achievement
- Incoming grade point average (GPA) and achievement
Dr. Samson’s study compared a number of student behaviours, recorded through the Active Learning Platform (ALP), such as: where they studied (from off campus, their university dorms, in the lecture theatre or not at all), whether they participated in answering questions during class, whether the students took notes, the volume of notes which they took and the total minutes of lecture captures viewed per lecture. This data was then analysed against the students incoming GPA and final grades. Following the study Dr. Samson could draw on the data to find the following statements to be true:
- Strong relationships exist between student behaviours in class and resulting grades in exams.
- These relationships allow the construction of tools that can predict student performance far earlier in a semester.
- The relationship between course grades and incoming GPA may reflect poor motivation of study skills, instead of a difference in cognitive ability.
His research validated the adoption of lecture capture technology, with their being strong correlation between active learning and achievement. I am now eagerly awaiting the findings of further studies which Dr Samson is carrying out, which I hope to share with academics and the E-Learning community at QM.