Investigating student preferences of online lecture recordings and lecture attendance in a large first year psychology course

Alexandra Yeung, Sadhana Raju, Manjula D. Sharma

Abstract


BACKGROUND
Web-based lecture technologies (WBLT) digitally record lectures for students to access on demand. Lectopia, a lecture capture and delivery system, is an example of this type of technology. The popularity and use of WLBT has been growing, possibly due to the changing nature of student life, which often includes part-time work, sporting commitments or family responsibilities. While blended learning has been around for sometime, the interplay between lecture recordings, lecture attendance and grades needs further examination particularly for large cohorts of over 1000 students in 500 seat lecture theatres. This presentation reports on an investigation of a cohort of 1450 first year psychology students’ who indicated whether they frequently attended lectures or not. The division helped ascertain differences and similarities in preferences for utilising online recordings.

METHODS
A survey of 25 questions based on Gosper et al (2008) was developed. The first 7 questions sought demographic information, and several asked for open-ended responses. The survey was delivered online via Blackboard, and administered in the last tutorial of the semester. The embedded analytics provided data on hits on each lecture recording, but did not link these with individual students. At the end of the semester, data from the survey was linked to students’ final grades in a multiple-choice exam.

RESULTS
Non-frequent attendees were more likely not to use lecture recordings (48.1%) to make up a missed lecture than frequent attendees (34.3%). Surprisingly, in the last week of semester, 29% of students reported not yet accessing lecture recordings. Students had the intention to use lecture recordings as they envisaged these to be helpful for learning and commented that they would be adversely affected if recordings were not available. In fact, students are passionate about lecture recordings.

CONCLUSIONS
Students passionately value the availability of lecture recordings and utilise lecture recordings strategically. The potential of lecture recordings, will be captured if the recordings are integrated in a pedagogically sound way rather than an “add-on”, amongst the ‘buffet’ of learning resources. We need to continually reflect on how we use learning resources. By listening to students’ feedback and giving them a voice, we can improve lectures for the better.

REFERENCES
Gosper, M., Green, D., McNeil, M., Phillips, R., Preston, G., & Woo, K. (2008). The Impact of Web-Based Lecture Technologies on Current and Future Practices in Learning and Teaching, Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://www.olt.gov.au/system/files/resources/grants_project_webbasedlecture_report_aug08.pdf.

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