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Lecture captures are becoming increasingly popular at institutions around the country. Students expect captures to be available for review, as well as to support innovative instructional techniques. Understanding how students use lecture capture and when and where lecture capture is most effective can help institutions to make the best possible lecture capture choices for their students.  Research into lecture capture also allows institutions to guide instructors in creating useful lecture captures and determining how to combine lecture captures and in-person learning.

A March 2014 publication in Computers & Education, “Is the Effectiveness of Lecture Capture Related to Teaching Approach or Content Type?” provides some new insights into how students are using lecture capture outside of the classroom, and which types of lecture captures improve student learning the most.

The Results

What did this study learn? The highlights are, as presented in Computers and Education,

  • Lecture-capture use accompanies better test scores in some disciplines, not others.
  • Lecture-capture use means more learning in straight-lecture, fact-focused contexts.
  • Students believe that viewing captured lectures helps learning.
  • Students view captured lectures more for less interactive sessions.
  • Students watch lectures for pragmatic reasons, not because of lecture quality.

What Does This Mean for Institutions?

When you summarize several of these highlights, they add up to a similar solution; students value lecture capture for fact-focused learning. They see this as a practical addition to their learning experience and believe that it helps them to learn, regardless of discipline. They don’t find lecture capture as helpful for interenterprise video and discussion, since this type of learning requires active, in-class participation.

How can instructors and institutions implement this information?

  • Flip the classroom to use in-class time for discussion and interaction and capture fact-based lectures for later viewing.
  • Take advantage of lecture capture technology to support information and fact-heavy lectures. Students can revisit these lectures to improve their understanding.
  • Select a lecture capture system, like YuJa, that makes viewing accessible from a variety of devices, including smartphones and allows students to search lecture captures or view only parts of a lecture.
  • Incorporate presentation media into lecture capture to increase their usefulness to students.
  • Offer lecture capture for a variety of different courses; students perceive lecture capture as helpful regardless of the subject of the course.

The smart use of lecture capture technology can maximize the usefulness of both lecture capture and classroom time. Students watching lecture captures have fewer distractions, increased opportunity for review, and for many students, increased comprehension from captioning and the ability to watch at a slower pace. Today’s lecture capture technology brings new opportunities to students, to instructors and to institutions of higher education.


Ron Owston, Denys Lupshenyuk, Herb Wideman. “Lecture capture in large undergraduate classes: Student perceptions and academic performance.” The Internet and Higher Education, Volume 14, Issue 4, September 2011, Pages 262–268