Lecture Capture

Lecture Capture: Student Opinion and Implementation Strategies

Kristin DeAngelis

Printable Version: Lecture Capture - Tip Sheet [PDF, 145 KB]


What are student opinions about lecture capture? Why do they view captured lectures? Do students still attend class when the material is available online? How are other professors using lecture capture?


Students consistently rank lecture capture as an essential tool, and most often use it to review concepts and revise. The majority of students still attend classes, even when a lecture capture system is in place. Professors have been experimenting with many useful techniques for integrating lecture capture into their courses.

Student Opinion:

  • The University of New South Wales surveyed students from four universities about their lecture capture system in 2006. In regards to lecture recording types, students preferred screen capture (57%), talking heads (34%), document camera (28%), then audio only (23%); 8% of students did not have a preference. 28% of students always attended live lectures, even with captured lectures available. 52% regularly attended live lectures, 15% occasionally, and 5% never went to class. Also, 61% of students used lecture capture for studying for exams, 57% used it for review, and 41% used it due to schedule conflicts. 63% of students ranked recorded lectures as essential, another 37% ranked them as useful, and less than 1% ranked them as not important.
  • Another study conducted by the University of Tasmania surveyed 322 students in 2007 about the use of lecture capture in classrooms. When asked about their preferred lecture recording types, students were fairly evenly divided between audio/video synchronized recordings (38%) and PowerPoint/audio unsynchronized recordings (40%). The rest either preferred audio only (25%) or did not have a preference (13%). Even with lecture capture in place, most students (45%) claimed to always attend live lectures. Another 37% regularly attended. Only 15% attended occasionally, and 3% never went to live lectures. Reviewing a missed concept (70%) and studying for exams (66%) were the two most common reasons given for listening to recorded lectures. Other reasons given were schedule conflicts (23%), conflicting work commitments (22%), and conflicting family commitments (16%). 63% of students surveyed rated lecture recordings as an essential resource, 36% rated it useful, and 0.3% rated lecture capture as not useful.
  • The University of Wisconsin Madison E-Business Group compiled data from over 7,000 student responses to a survey about the use of lecture capture in undergraduate courses. 82% of students preferred courses which offer lecture capture as opposed to those that don’t. When asked about the benefits of lecture capture, 93% of students said they used it to make up for a missed class. Other reasons that students found lecture capture beneficial include watching lectures on demand (79%), improving retention of class materials (78%), improving test scores (76%), and reviewing material before class (52%). Students also find it useful to have course material available online as a resource after their course is over.
  • The Centre for Learning Technology at The London School of Economics and Political Science conducted a focus group with three students to discuss the use of lecture capture in their courses. All three students found lecture capture to be very valuable to their coursework, especially during the revision process and when they needed to review a concept. They reported that students are more likely to replay pertinent parts of a lecture rather than replay the entire lesson. While one student did not feel visuals were a necessary part of the lecture, the other two said that the PowerPoint accompanying the speech were vital to their understanding of the lecture. All three students found it reassuring that the lectures were recorded, and said that this allowed them to participate more fully in class because they could rill in their notes using the recordings at a later time. When asked about attendance, one student responded, “You need to go to the lecture to make it real, solidarity with your friends…you want to see the people, ask questions and see your friends asking questions.”

Best Practices for Implementation:

  • To encourage students to come to class rather than rely on only the captured lectures, an attendance policy and/or a class participation policy may be used.
  • Divide longer lectures into three to twelve minute segments for recording. This will make the material more accessible to students, as well as help the professor prioritize and organize the topics for the students.
  • Provide lecture material online before the corresponding class meeting, and hold students responsible for viewing it on their own. This frees up class time for more interactive activities and discussion.
  • Record short segments for online posts outside of classroom lectures. Use a more informal tone, as if in a tutorial session, to make the listening experience more personal for students.
  • Provide unabridged, recorded lectures for international students and ESL students to review the material at their own pace once a classroom session is completed.
  • Remind students that reviewing recorded lectures are a good way to prepare for tests and exams.
  • Have a student or Teaching Assistant take notes throughout the lecture. Post them online along with the audio-visual recording so that students can fill in missing information in their own notes and have a model for note-taking in future lectures.
  • Pre-designate a time for students to participate in small group and individual discussions regarding course material. Record and upload these conversations so that other students can access them.
  • Allow students who have received an A on a paper or exam to offer advice to other students in a short session via podcast or lecture capture.


Lectopia 2007 student survey results. (2007). Retrieved December 8, 2008, from University of Tasmania Website: UTAS

Miller, D. B. (2008). Forget coursecasting: Podcasting as educational inspiration at UConn. Paper presented at Campus Technology 08, Boston, M.A..

School of management community help: Lecture capture. Retrieved December 8, 2008, from Boston University School of Management Website: BU

Secker, J. (2008, June 5). [Weblog] Lecture capture evaluation: Report of the focus group. LSE Centre for Learning Technology. Retrieved December 8, 2008, from LSE

Seeking opinion on lecture capture. injenuity. (2008). [Weblog] Retrieved December 7, 2008, from Injenuity

Student survey results 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2008, from University of New South Wales Website: UNSW

Veeramani, R, and S. Bradley. (2008 September 23). UW-Madison online learning study: Insights regarding undergraduate preferences for lecture capture. Retrieved December 8, 2008, from UW E-Business Institute Website: UWEBI

About this Teaching Tip Sheet:

This Teaching Tip Sheet was prepared by Ms. Kris DeAngelis, Graduate Assistant, at the Center for Teaching and Learning at UNC Charlotte. Please visit us online at CTL for more professional development resources.