Student’s Name: Sue Bloggs*
Department: School of Law
Sue is a 2nd year student studying Law at Queen Mary University of London, and is part of the Faculty of HSS. She currently has a learning disability, which means that she has had to seek assistance from the Disability and Dyslexia Services at QMUL.
We met with Sue, in October 2014, to find out how classes are going for her. Most of Sue’s friends and teachers are not aware of her disability and so she has asked us not to publish the interview recording, as she wishes to remain anonymous. Instead, we have captured some of the text, from the meeting, below.
In a candid discussion, Sue shared how she has found that access to lecture recordings has been a tremendous help in allowing her to have an almost equal ‘playing field’ as her peers, as with the recordings she is able to review and listen to the lecture over and over again.
Sue’s learning experience at QMUL
It’s impossible to catch everything, as the lecturers go really really fast
Sue explained that all her courses in her first year were recorded. This was essential as she found that the teaching at QMUL was at a much faster pace than what she was used to. She explained that ‘we (students) write or type as fast as we can, but it is impossible to catch everything as the lecturer goes really, really fast’. Sue feels that this could be due to that fact that there is so much to cover on the syllabus, and so the lecturers try to cover as much as they can in the time slot given – even if it means that the students are not able to keep up.
[I] typically listen to the recording soon after the lecture…due to concentration issues I miss a lot of what happens in the actual class.
Some of the lecture recordings were released almost immediately after class, while others were released a few days later. Sue indicated that this is invaluable as she typically listens to the recording soon after the lecture, as due to her disability and concentration issues she misses a lot of what happens in the actual class.
However, in her second year, Sue’s QMUL experience has not been the same as only some of her lectures are being recorded. Sue explained that the ‘Equity and Trust’ course is recorded and released immediately, and ‘Tort Law’ is due to be released later (weeks 1-6 will be released in week 7, in reading week).
However, other classes were not being recorded at all even in Q-Review recordable rooms. And sometimes, Sue says, there is a link for Q-Review (in QMplus, the Online Learning Environment) but it says ‘this Module does not exist on the Q-Review page’.
…my lecturer in [name of course] has a very heavy French accent, which I can’t fully understand. I would love to be able to review this lecture and pause it once in a while, while flipping through the text book.
Sue highlighted that ‘one of my lecturers has a very heavy French accent, which I can’t fully understand. I would love to be able to review this lecture and pause it once in a while, while flipping through the text book.’ Sue also mentioned that another of her lecturer’s style of teaching is more of ‘starting one point, and then going onto another point without finishing the first point’. If she could listen to the lecture again and rewind it, she might be able to understand what is being said. Sadly these are the lectures that are not being recorded. Sue goes on to explain ‘consequently I have absolutely no idea what (this course) is about at the moment – I’ve gone through 4 chapters of other modules but for this one it is a big blur because I’ve not been able to grasp it in the lecture or review it afterwards either’.
Accessing the recordings
Sue likes to see the video recordings as she gets to see the slides again, but also she likes to see the teacher, as it feels a bit more like she’s there (in the lecture). However, Sue mentioned that not seeing the teacher on video would be better than nothing.
So far, all of the lecture recordings she has received have been made available via QMplus – for some these are available via the Q-Review tool at the top of the QMplus course area, while some are links within the topics in the centre. She finds that it is a bit of a ‘hunt’ finding the recordings, but she is getting used to that. Sue would recommend that all lectures be recorded at QMUL.
When asked if she knows why some lectures are not recorded, Sue did not know for sure, but she said some lecturers indicated that it was because there were student presentations and they did not want to record the students. Sue mentioned that she was camera shy herself and could understand, but was also quick to add that ‘if the recording is only available within the QMplus course, then only the students who are on the course will see it, and they would have seen the students in the class presenting anyway’.
Overall Sue felt that having a recording of her lecture was essential to her being able to keep up. She felt that this benefited her classmates as well and was not an excuse for her to not attend the lecture. Sometimes she had to miss lectures due to her disability and having other appointments, having the lecture recorded was helpful in these cases, but she still turned up to the lecture when she could as it helped to reinforce the material covered.
More about Q-Review Lecture Capture at QMUL
Q-Review was expanded over the summer of 2014 and is now available in 66 rooms across all campuses. We hope to be able to help more students like Sue and enhance their learning experiences. If you would like to learn more about Q-Review and where it is located, please visit our Q-Review webpages or our Help and Support site to learn more.
*Names have been removed or changed to protect identities