Answer to “Should lectures be captured electronically and made available to students”


Increasingly medical schools are capturing lectures digitally and making the recordings available to students for use at a time and place convenient to them.  This has become a normal feature of higher education.  It usually includes the PowerPoint slides and recordings of the lecture’s voice or a video of the lecturer.


There is evidence that overall there is only a slight drop in live lecture attendance when recordings are made available.  A small number of students (perhaps about 5 to 10% stop attending lectures and these are often the brightest students.  The live lecture may be seen as having minimum added value for the higher achiever who has learned to study in other ways.  Some studies suggest that making recordings available may even encourage some students to attend and get more value from the live lecture.


Students are more likely to use recorded lectures where the course relies heavily on lecturing, when it moves quickly and when it contains information not available in other forms.


Lecture capture is seen as providing greater flexibility for the student to learn at their desired speed and setting.  Lower achieving students may use the recorded lectures more than higher achievers but this does not prevent them from attending a live lecture.  Higher achievers frequently fast forward the recording.  Accelerated video recorded lectures have been shown to offer advantages.

Students highly value having available recordings of lectures.  In one study 83% of students indicated a strong preference for having recordings available.  Having a blend of recorded lectures and live lectures available increased student satisfaction and engagement with courses.

Reports of the effect on academic performance of making available recorded lectures is mixed.  Some studies have shown improved student examination performance while others have demonstrated no significant impact.


Students, while preferring recorded lectures, may attend live lectures to show professionalism and respect for the teacher, to talk with classmates and to feel that they are getting more value for their tuition fee.


Lecture capture may have an effect on the lecturer and alter the more spontaneous student teacher relationships in a lecture.


Danielson, J., Preast, V., Bender, H., Hassall, L., (2014).  Is the effectiveness of lecture capture related to teaching approach or content type?  Computers & Education 72 (2014) 121–131.

Owston, R., Lupshenyuk, D., Wideman, H., (2011).  Lecture capture in large undergraduate classes: Student perceptions and academic performance.  Internet and Higher Education 14 (2011) 262–268.

Joseph-Richard, P., Jessop, T., Okafor, G., Almpanis, T., Price, D., (2018).  Big brother or harbinger of best practice: Can lecture capture actually improve teaching? British Educational Research Journal (2018) 44: 3 337-392

Dona, K.L., Gregory, J., Pechenkina, E., (2016) Lecture-recording technology in higher education: Exploring lecturer and student across the disciplines.  Australian Journal of Education Technology (2017)

Groen, J.F., Quigley, B., Herry, Y., (2016) Examining the Use of Lecture Capture Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning.  The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, (2016) 7 (1/8)

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