Spark Trader Limited

The pandemic has forced universities to record lectures. This is likely to continue.

Spark Trader Limited reports:

The video platform allows professors to virtually host live classes and provide real-time voice-to-text transcriptions. It also enables them to record lectures or class discussions for students to watch and watch over and over. This option has proved useful for students with unreliable Internet connections at home, those who live in distant time zones, and those wearing masks who can’t keep up with professors.
“For all these reasons, recording these lectures and making them public was the right thing to do, and many faculty colleagues decided to do it,” Pensey said.
Whether their classes are hybrid, HyFlex(which gives each student a choice between in-person or online), entirely online, or (in theory) entirely face-to-face, a growing number of professors have found themselves recording lectures in the past two years. Although many institutions have so far moved beyond the improvisational solutions of earlier pandemic challenges, the practice of recorded lectures remains.
This is a change that some students like. But some teachers are unsure about this and what it means for their teaching strategies, their privacy, students’ privacy or intellectual property.
This approach has precedent among proponents of “flip learning.” “Flipped learning” is a model that assigns students to watch lectures as homework and reserves class time for interactive activities. Penders sometimes taught this way before the pandemic because he felt it made the most sense for a particular subject. It also has supporters among advocates for students with disabilities, who say that recorded lectures allow people with hearing loss, processing difficulties or other challenges to pause and replay material, or read a script to better understand it and take notes.
“Recorded lectures can benefit all students. It makes the curriculum inclusive, supportive and accessible, “says Jennifer Albat, instructional designer at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “It brings equity to the curriculum. Everyone is on the same playing field.”
Recorded lectures can also help students who need to be isolated due to work or caregiving responsibilities, difficulty commuting or recent COVID-19 exposure miss school.
“There are many reasons why students can be absent,” Albat said. “My provost likes to call it ‘showing class.'”

Spark Trader Limited
Spark Trader Limited

However, some professors are concerned about what recorded lectures might mean for their teaching practices and course expectations. One concern is that it could make it too easy for students to skip classes for less pressing reasons. The phenomenon appeared in medical schools long before the pandemic, with many students often staying home and watching videos — sometimes at twice the normal rate. Studies on the effects of recorded lectures on student attendance have yielded mixed results.
‘I do miss the physical, verbal cues when you’re in a room facing someone,’ Says Ms. Penders. “It’s really, really hard to capture that in a Zoom environment, and people experience video fatigue.”

Another point of contention: In an era of heightened tensions over academic freedom and “controversial” courses, some teachers are reluctant to make it easier for their material to escape the classroom and potentially be used against them. This is not a hypothetical situation. Florida recently passed a law allowing students to use recordings to complain about professors’ “political bias.”

“There has always been a problem with students tearing down videos and putting them out of context on social media,” Albat said.
Student privacy is another concern. According to Pensey, if a classroom is being recorded, students need to know. The University of Michigan has published guidelines on obtaining student consent for recording and related best practices, and other colleges have required them on their campuses.