Learning with Lecture Capture: Watching is not the same as learning

Study guide

Although viewing a recorded lecture is not identical to attending a lecture in person, when it comes to getting the most out of it, the principles are broadly the same. Above all, you want to ensure you are engaging with the content as actively and productively as possible. One of the challenges is that you could spend hours watching recorded lectures or webinars, without thinking about the content – it’s very easy to ‘switch-off’. On the plus side, you can decide how and when to use recordings. Here are some tips for getting the most from lecture capture.

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Study guide table of contents:

active listening | Panopto tools | learning environment | after watching the recording

Get an overview of the lecture

Briefly scan or survey the recording as a whole, by using the ‘contents’ tab or flicking through the slides, and note any words or phrases that sound familiar or not. This will help give you an overall sense of what the lecture is setting out to do.

The introduction: Look at how the lecture is introduced – what are the aims and learning outcomes? These should help you better understand what the lecturer is setting out to argue and persuade you to think.

The conclusion: what are the important points that the lecturer emphasises? How will your understanding of this topic be assessed?

Make sure you are being active as you listen

One common way of ensuring more active engagement with lecture content, is to set yourself some questions to answer as you listen. You could use past exam questions, re-frame the learning outcomes for the lecture, use assignment topics and titles or just note down from your overview some key questions to help you structure your notes. The guidelines below should help you do this:

  • Limit the number of questions, and link these to the learning objectives, aims and past exam questions (3-6 maximum should be fine)
  • Use different types of questions to encourage different types of engagement (see below)
  • Clarifying specialist language questions about the meaning of key words, phrases and concepts (e.g. ‘What does Thorpe mean by the phrase…’)
  • Understanding central arguments, themes, theories etc. questions about (e.g. ‘How does Thorpe distinguish between…’)
  • Evaluative questions, inviting more critical reflection (e.g. ‘How do you respond to Marler’s claim that…’)
  • Synoptic questions, inviting more of an overview of the lecture as a whole (e.g. ‘How would you summarise, in no more than three sentences, Thorpe’s position on…’)

You can focus on parts of the lecture recording that address your questions. You don’t have to use all the different types of questions mentioned here. Go with the type that best suit your purposes and what the lecture as a whole is trying to communicate.

Make the recording work for you

Panopto offers several useful tools that you may be able to use:

  • Speed. If you find the lecturer is talking slowly or too quickly, you can easily change the speed of play back.
  • Podcasts: You can download the audio of the recording to listen to – although some people may find this creates more distraction.
  • Discussion: if your lecturer has enabled the discussion function, you can ask questions and have chats with other students who watch the recording.
  • Note-making and bookmarks: You can make notes within Panopto, and bookmark specific points in the recording to come back to. This could be useful for particularly challenging ideas or if you decide to break watching the lecture into shorter periods.
  • Search: Panopto has a very powerful search function – you can search for key words within the audio and the PowerPoint slides anywhere within the recording. You can also choose to search any of the recordings you have access to, enabling you to easily cross-reference between different lectures and different modules.

Further information on using Panopto can be found here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/services/reflect/how-do-i-use-reflect/students

Learning environment

How you will access the lecture recordings, what equipment you will need, and where you will do it? Might distractions affect your ability to engage with recording? Guidance on accessing recordings can be found here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/services/reflect/how-do-i-use-reflect/students

After watching the lecture recording

You may want to identify articles, texts or other sources that go into more detail. Often these will be cited during the lecture. You can swap your questions, and discuss your answers and conclusions with other students on your module so that you can consider the topic from at least one alternative perspective – either face-to-face (maintaining social distancing), through social media, discussion forums on Blackboard or using the ‘Discussion’ tab on Panopto. Below are a couple of more structured review and revision exercises you may wish to try.

Review and revision exercise (1)

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Very briefly, scan your lecture notes to remind yourself of the main points. Without referring back to your notes, write a brief summary of the main lecture content. When you have finished, go back over your lecture notes to: a) check your summary is accurate; and b) look more closely at any check areas where you got stuck.

Review and revision exercise (2)

Look over your lecture notes and create a quiz and/or discussion exercise based on the content (e.g. 10 top questions). Doing this will help you to re-engage you with the content of the lecture and also create a resource you can use to help you when you are preparing for exams.

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