Lecture recordings are invaluable tools that help students better understand difficult concepts, learn at their own pace and focus on study material when they are best able to.
These were some of the findings of a recent focus group made up of UCT students who regularly used lecture recordings in the course of their studies. Forty-seven venues on campus are equipped to produce digital recordings of lectures, which are uploaded onto the Vula site. Students use these supplementary resources to regular classroom teaching for revision, or catching up on missed sessions. The recordings are also accessed by students with disabilities.
"These recordings give students valuable flexibility in how they engage with lecture material. Our students reported that they get more out of the lecture experience when they are in control of the pacing, and can review lectures when they are best able to concentrate," says Assoc Prof Laura Czerniewicz, director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), which manages this programme.
In 2015, 240 recordings were made per week, with up to 2 700 students accessing these recordings weekly.
The recordings allowed students to augment lectures by pausing to look up references, work through examples or read supplementary material. One of the focus group participants spoke to this aspect:
"We deal a lot with current affairs, where lecturers will reference a case that's in the media; and if you don't know about it, it's easy to press pause, go and read about it, and then, whatever principles he's applying to that case, you pick up without having to learn the principles, read the case, and then try and put the two together after the lecture. So, there's a lot of learning that happens in one two-hour space that normally would've taken an entire day."
Story by Abigail Calata. Photo by Je'nine May.
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