What is lecture capture and classroom recordings policies?

Lecture capture is the recording of live instruction in a college classroom, in the form of video, audio, or transcript—for later use as a student resource. Recording lectures is becoming increasingly popular in colleges and universities that offer online courses. It’s also a valuable resource to supplement student studying beyond classroom walls.

Lecture Capture is the future of eLearning

Whether or not you have taken or taught an online course, they rely almost entirely on providing all course materials online including lectures, educational videos, audio commentary, and written documents. Sometimes even the textbook itself! (ebooks)

Some classes provide more of a hybrid learning experience—access to both live lectures and online recorded resources. And, this is crucial because 66% of students use lecture videos to supplement their studying.

Recording lectures in classrooms is becoming increasingly important to help students approach learning in new ways with new technologies. Complimentary to a video or audio track, lecture transcription is an effective way to allow students to read-along with your streaming media.

Classroom Recording Policies

While your recorded lectures are inherently protected as your intellectual property under copyright laws, you are required to allow students with approved ADA accommodations to use aids in-class, which might allow them to record the lectures themselves.

The recording of your classroom by students almost always requires multiple forms of approval by you and the educational institution. If you become aware that your lectures are being recorded without your permission, consult your school’s classroom recording policy to know what is required for an instructor’s consent and see if the student has administrative approval.

To better the learning experience of your students and to get ahead of the curve for accessibility requirements, you and your school should consider implementing recording technologies in your classrooms and lecture halls.

Why should I capture my lectures for students?

Accommodate For Students With Disabilities

From disabilities with learning, hearing, vision, writing, typing—you name it, there are real struggles for many aspiring students in your class. Many schools are rising to the occasion (and requirements by law) to improve the learning environment for these students to create inclusive classroom recording policies and allow for aids and services to help with their learning process.

Get ahead of the curve: make your lectures and class website ADA compliant and accessible to the students with captions and transcripts for your lecture videos.

Give Students A Supplement to Live Lectures

No matter how attentive, students could miss something you speak on during your lecture. Students with access to your recorded lectures are proven to understand the core objectives better than those without.

Approach The Different Learning Styles

Not all students have the same learning style. Some students prefer visual (video), auditory (audio), and some like reading a transcript of your lectures. Make your students better learners by equipping them with all these resources and a new way to study.

Increase Accountability For Course Material

With all of your lectures available online to your students, you can implement a “no excuses” policy for students who are absent from class. You may also require attendance as part of your grade, but now you can ensure that if students encounter a major life event, or just sleep in on a Monday after a hard weekend, they can catch up at anytime online to be ready for the big test.

How do I record my classroom lectures?

You can record lectures with a video camera, audio recorder, or both! 

Get Recording Equipment For Your Classroom

Instructors at a university or college might be able to obtain recording resources from the media or technology faculty. If your school already offers recording services, contact the appropriate people to discuss how you can get your lectures recorded.

Without the help of your school’s resources, you can start simple and work your way up. If you’re on a budget, consider recording the audio of your lectures first. This will allow you to share audio recordings and text transcripts of your lectures.

Recording Lecture Audio

Recording audio is generally pretty simple. If you teach in large lecture halls, chances are you might already be using a mic and PA system. Audio equipment like this usually has an audio out channel available to plug directly into an external audio recorder.

You can also use your mobile devices to capture lecture audio. With voice recorder apps, it’s simple to get high-quality audio from your smartphone. Plus, you can order transcription services in-app at no additional cost.

Recording Lecture Videos

Lecture videos are the most engaging—and the most difficult format (for you) to offer to students. If you’re looking to include a live video of you presenting in the class, it can add a whole other level of video editing in the process.

If you want to record video lectures, consider getting a simple camcorder and tripod that you can set up in the back of the room. That way, it’ll capture you and any projections you may present. If possible, connect a master channel out to your camera’s input—or make sure you have a great built-in mic or external mic on-hand.

Alternatively, you could get a webcam and screen recording software to capture everything from the front of the room. Platforms like TechSmith offer very intuitive solutions to capture lectures and other eLearning videos. You can record your spoken audio, presentation slides directly from the computer screen, and optionally a video of you at the platform.

What formats should I offer my lectures recordings?

Bouncing Lecture Audio Files

When it comes to editing your audio tracks, you have a ton of free options at your disposal: Audacity and GarageBand (on a Mac) are the best audio editors. If you have Adobe CC, you can also use Adobe Audition audio editing software!

Audio recordings are usually much smaller than video files from the same lecture. However, an uncompressed file of a half-hour lecture could well be over 1GB! You’ll want to share compressed versions of these raw files in .MP3 format with a 128kbps bitrate. These audio files generally won’t surpass 30-40MB in size.

Exporting Lecture Video Files

Editing your lecture videos can be accomplished in iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere if you have Creative Cloud.

Video file formats are generally large. A half-hour lecture video could be anywhere from 400MB to 4GB depending on your encoding and compression settings. Try to maintain good quality with lower file sizes with H.264 compression and MP4 file format.

Creating Lecture Transcript Files

With your video or audio recordings, you can get lecture transcriptions to have all of your spoken words as text. Transcripts don’t take up any space really (we’re talking kilobytes) and are very easy to share as Word documents, PDFs, or as a Google Doc.

Where should I share my lecture recordings?

Gone are the days of cassettes, tapes, CDs, DVDs, and even flash drives. You’ll want to find a way to share all your lecture resources online.

Share In A Learning Management System (LMS)

Most colleges and universities have online student portals where they can check grades and access class resources. Consider creating a Lectures module for your class where you can post the video and audio recordings of your lectures along with a supplementary transcript.

You can upload the lecture transcript as a Word document or PDF for easy downloading! Check with your school on what features your Learning Management System (LMS) has to offer.

Post On Class Website Blog

If you don’t have the capabilities of posting lectures to a class portal, consider posting them on a private class website or blog site. You can generally password protect specific pages on your sites, which could help you keep the recordings private from viewers outside the class.

You can even copy and paste your lecture transcript directly onto the body of the webpage so that students can easily read while watching or listening.

Upload to Video Playlist

You can upload your videos to YouTube as private or unlisted and add them to a private video playlist. That way, the link is only accessible by those with the link. Share the video playlist link with your students and they can visit the YouTube page throughout the semester to watch the recordings.

Stream Through Podcast Apps

If you’re primarily focusing on audio, you might consider posting your lecture recordings to an audio platform like SoundCloud, which allows you to make audio tracks private, as well as private sound playlists. You can share the links with your class, or embed a widget on your website or student portal. It’s like starting a podcast for your class!

Additionally, you could look into ways to post your audio recordings to your site or audio platform as an RSS feed, which would allow your students to subscribe through their favorite podcast apps like Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

Classroom Lecture Recordings Help Students Learn

Students these days are pretty savvy with technology. They’re consuming media faster than ever and it amounts unfathomable just ten years ago. To prevent the classroom from falling behind (or getting lost in the media mix), lectures and class resources should become increasingly more available online for students.

You can be a part of transforming college and university policies on classroom recordings to make learning more accessible by all students. Whether you decide to start recording lectures solo, or partner with your school, we applaud your efforts to share your incredible lessons with students beyond the classroom!