Fellow contrarian Mark Smithers writes on the phenomenon of widespread, automated lecture capture in education›:

the large scale implementation of lecture capture is probably one of the costliest and strategically misguided educational technologies that an institution can adopt

At UNE we’re currently in the throes of deciding our plan of attack for all things rich media. Naturally this includes lecture capture, but the peculiarities of our environment have thankfully provided the context for a re-think. In particular:

  • 80% of our students study all or mostly online
  • An ever-increasing number of our teaching units have no face-to-face cohort - i.e. no actual lectures to record
  • The tools for academics to record great, focused learning interactions are inexpensive, powerful, and much easier to use
  • We don’t have the legacy of an existing lecture capture practice
  • As Mark has highlighted, a gazillion studies have shown (and our own experience often attests) that an hour-long, lecture-style video is rarely the best way to engage, stretch, develop and enhance learning.

So what are we going to do?

We’re currently working at ensuring that our focus is on (a) the tools our students tell us they want to use… and (b) those our great teaching staff are keen to get their hands on.

Thankfully, those two are one and the same:

  1. We’re rolling out great synchronous meeting / classroom platform. Based on Adobe Connect and tightly integrated with our Moodle site. It’ll give us a great building block for fantastic online discussions - for tutorial-style discussions, supervision, collaboration, and more.

  2. We’ve put in place the absolute best media storage and management platform. Kaltura forms the foundation for this - we’ve started with terabytes of storage and are sponsoring the open source development of the Moodle 2.0 plugin. It’ll be possible to record or upload video straight into the browser… and Kaltura will automatically take care of the formats, resizing and distribution.

  3. We’re investigating the best way to give all staff (and potentially students) the easiest way to capture audio and video from the desktop and in lecture-style situations.

Excited? I am!