Submitted by Chris Mullins / University of Kentucky on Sun, 01/11/2009 - 22:25

So, I am thinking of video-recording at least one of my lectures this term. I am teaching Organic II this spring (and possibly an Inorganic...). In my Organic class I have 1 student who needs both my class and another for her degree (2nd semester senior) at the same time, not enough students to have two sections in either course and I know mine probably couldn't have a time change nor would the senior faculty teaching the other course change his time...thus, I am looking to possibly record the lectures and share with all the students enrolled.

Does anyone have expereinces with this (good or bad)? Any pointers?

All advice will be greatly appreciated.

Chris Mullins, Asst. Professor of Chemistry, Campbellsville University (KY)


Barbara Reisner / James Madison University

I have no personal experience with taping lectures but when I was a grad student, they taped one of the genchem lectures (for 550 students) and made them available for video replay.  I have no recollection on whether the students found them helpful. Where my husband was a grad student they taped a number of large lectures courses there for broadcast on their TV channel.  His impression was that quite a few students preferred watching class on TV in their pajamas rather than going in to lecture. In both of these cases, there was someone actively manning the cameras to do the taping.

I have a colleague who filmed himself using a program called tegrity which allowed him to show what he was doing on an electronic screen (powerpoint, write on screen).  He did not use this as a primary means of lecture delivery but rather as a way to supplement materials with which his students were having trouble and for review.  He was pretty happy with the outcome.

I have had a number of my lab classes taped to use as part of a research study.  One thing that I've learned is that it can be hard to get good audio.  You definitely want to have your own mic which feeds into the camera.  You may also want to consider getting a student to videotape the lectures (maybe you could get a work study student) and work with the student who needs the video lecture to get his/her feed back on what does/does not work.  The people doing the video work need very specific directions about what to film and when to focus otherwise you just don't get much good boardwork.

Good luck!

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 01:56 Permalink
Chris Mullins / University of Kentucky

In reply to by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm planning to try to get a work-study to help with taping. I plan to use them as a supplement as attendance is required and we have a campus-wide policy with some teeth to it.

Does classroom size play a considerable role, I'm considering changing rooms to accomodate this option.


Mon, 01/12/2009 - 06:59 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College

I have only recorded my courses for self-evaluation (2 or 3 times in my first 2-3 years of teaching).  I had an AV person set up a camera in the back of the lecture hall for me.  Of course, your needs are totally different, since I was just looking to get an idea of what I was doing.  I do remember the sound being bad, especially student questions. 

We did record a section of frosh chem a few years ago for a group of students who were double scheduled (long story).  I know we had a student taping, sitting in the front row.  I never saw the tapes to see how they turned out.

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 11:42 Permalink
Joanne Stewart / Hope College

There are several products out for "capturing" lectures. Most of them are not cheap, but it seems that there's someone at every school who is currently "testing" one of them. Your IT folks may know if this is the case at your school.

Here at University of Queensland, many people use Lectopia ( Faculty fear that this leads to high absenteeism (because they post their lectures and students can watch them on their own) but I don't think there's any hard data on that.

At Hope College, we've used a different product, but I can't remember the name of it right now. I know that some of our physicists captured their lectures, and then used them as a resource for a distance physics course they taught.

 I'm sure that videotaping would have a much less steep learning curve, but I wanted to point out these resources.  It's possible your IT folks and upper administration are looking for someone to test them!

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 19:08 Permalink
Barbara Reisner / James Madison University

In reply to by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University

I just found out today that JMU is discontinuing their Tegrity license.  While the Center for Instructional Technology has not yet decided what product to go with, they are recommending that faculty convert their tegrity sessions into either Camtasia or Adobe Presenter.  These seem like two other reasonable options.

I agree with Joanne - talk to your instructional technology staff and see what resources they recommend!

Tue, 01/13/2009 - 16:08 Permalink