Should lecture capture be used to relieve classroom over crowding?

This is my newest column for the October-November issue of Streaming Media Magazine:
At the beginning of this school year, Echo360 Inc. CEO Fred Singer wrote an editorial for The Huffington Post extolling the virtues of lecture capture. He observed that the lean economy “won’t allow institutions to simply erect new buildings and hire qualified staff to meet rising needs” but that lecture capture can assist because it’s “like DVR’ing class with full playback functionality.” Singer went on to argue that “lecture capture addresses overcrowding by freeing seats,” permitting students who prefer to view an online lecture to skip class.

He also cited studies that pointed to higher student achievement and even better classroom attendance resulting from students reviewing video materials outside of the classroom.

Nevertheless, my interest was piqued by Singer’s argument that lecture capture can substitute for the in-class experience for a student who prefers watching online. It’s not something I often hear in the promotion of lecture capture. While companies list distance learning as a core use case, they take care not to imply that recordings of classes in on-the-ground curricula should substitute for attendance.

Justified or not, the relationship between attendance and lecture recording is a sensitive issue. When there’s resistance to adopting lecture capture, the risk of encouraging would-be slackers to cut class is a prime objection. Thus, I was surprised that Singer would be so blunt.
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One Response to Should lecture capture be used to relieve classroom over crowding?

  1. Lecture Capture February 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I think that lecture capture programs could be a great way of dealing with overcrowding or even just making it easier to take classes from home. Interesting theory, I think it might be able to work.

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