Lecture capture technology keeps students in the loop
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It's not that things like chalk, pens, and paper are non-existant at universities today but when students are studying for exams, they no longer have to rely just on their notes to brush up on what the professor said in class.
Thanks to so-called "Lecture Capture" technology from companies like Sonic Foundry, TechSmith, and one being used at Columbia Business School called Echo360, students can learn the same lessons over and over and over again if necessary -- all straight from the professor him or herself via a computer or mobile device.
"What's being captured is really three separate things. There is a camera shot of the front of the room to capture the speaker, there is a feed from the PC in the front of the room and it captures whatever presentation they're using, and then of course we have microphones setup. It captures whatever they're saying and it combines all that into a rich media presentation," said Jeff Cavalli of Columbia Business School.
Students then simply get a link via email and can access any lecture at any time.
You may be wondering whether a system like this might just encourage students to skip class altogether. Students and teachers at Columbia say that's not really the case and that it is most helpful when students have to miss class for a legitimate reason.
"It's usually for people who couldn't make class, whether it was an interview or internship or just a conflict and watch it from home," said Columbia Business School Student Ignacio Sotomayor.
Some professors believe students may actually be more productive in class because they know they don't have to sit there and relentlessly jot down notes out of fear they'll forget something.
"I think it's a companion to it. I think it will enhance their learning the things they didn't catch the first time they can go back and review and I think from that perspective it could be very helpful," said Columbia Business School Professor Nelson Fraiman.
Additionally, the recordings are often saved in an archive for the school so that it can, say, take an experienced, well-respected professor and show his or her lectures to incoming instructors as a teaching tool for them.