Political Science Now

Lights, Camera, Learn: Understanding the Role of Lecture Capture in Undergraduate Education

Lecture-capture software allows instructors to record their class presentations for students to review as necessary. Although this technology has long been considered too expensive for large-scale use, it is quickly becoming ubiquitous and deployable using ordinary computers and consumer-grade software. Over three semesters we recorded each in-person lecture (the slides presented together with the instructors’ voice) given in our introductory-level political science course and post them online immediately following class. We then examine the grades students earn, their viewing habits, and their evaluation of the software and the recordings created. We demonstrate students almost universally approve of the technology and support its use in future classes. Students are most likely to use recordings when they study for exams and catch up on material after being absent from class. Additionally, certain subgroups — primarily international students and those who are performing poorly in the class — are more likely to watch archived recordings. However, these data demonstrate that positive evaluations and increased usage may not translate into better grades; viewing lectures does not appear to substantially improve individual performance.

Lights, Camera, Learn: Understanding the Role of Lecture Capture in Undergraduate Education by Daniel J. Mallinson and Zachary D. Baumann, appears in PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 48 / Issue 03 / July 2015, pp 478 – 482.