Live Lecture Recording

The recorded lectures are automatically linked to the Blackboard page of the course

At NTU almost all lectures are automatically (as from the teachers side) recorded live and uploaded onto the educational platform (in their case NTULearn, which is an implementation of Blackboard). This makes it unnecessary for the students to attend the lectures if they do not want to since recordings of all lectures are available online just shortly after the lecture has ended. On the positive notice all students can benefit from the material, even if you are sick or unable to attend class. Even though this greatly supports the idea of flipped classroom, this is also in some sense unfortunate. It decreases the possibility of interaction between the lecturer and the students during the lectures. In other words having prerecorded structured lectures might even be better than the live recordings if (at an extreme) no students attend the lectures at all.

From my point of view, as a lecturer, the technical aspect of live lecture recording is really simple. I just start talking on time and the lectures are recorded. I do, however, need to use a mic while lecturing and have it turned on. That’s pretty much it. Coming into the lecture theater for the first time, I had no idea how this worked and I just asked the nice professor that had his lecture before mine. He told me: “It works all automatically, just have the mic turned on and you will be fine. And if you forget the mic, you will hear this voice in the speakers saying – ‘Turn on the microphone, please’. Don’t worry, they will just appear on NTULearn…”. And I didn’t have to worry since everything just worked automatically 🙂 .

Automatically recorded lecture of my lectures in classical mechanics on the course Physics for Computing

However, of course automatically is not really automatically. The lecture recording is done from within a Centralized Command Center for Lecture Recording (CCCLR) at NTU’s Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy Division (TLPD). The lectures are recorded when they start and the recording ends after the lecture ends. The recordings are done by paid student assistants. The only thing you need to do as a lecturer is to remember to turn on and use the microphone. Today, the live lecture recording service is available in all common lecture theaters at NTU and selected school-based lecture theaters and seminar rooms. Lecture recording have been around since 2003 in different ways at NTU and is regarded as a success factor. In 2010 NTU centralized the lecture recording instead of having around 40 on-site recordings at the same time. The recorded lectures are not (by default) reused for next year‘s course and are kept in the archives for approximately two years. 

Even though this is an amazing service, there are some pros and cons regarding live lecture recording:

  • + Students are able to benefit from the material even if unable to attend.
  • + It supports the idea of flipped classroom (event though not totally).
  • + Easy for the lecturer, no need for any technical knowledge or setup.
  • – Students are less interactive.
  • – Students do not attend as much as if lectures are not recorded.
  • – Students are sitting in the back of the lecture theatre to avoid being seen on recording.
  • – Students avoid asking questions to avoid being heard on recording.

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