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University evaluation

Information about the University’s study into the value of lecture recording at Edinburgh, access to the full report and annexes.

Edinburgh is taking an evidence-based approach to the implementation of lecture recording.  To enhance our understanding of how lecture recording is being used at the University, we have commissioned a University-wide evaluation to explore the value of lecture recording at Edinburgh.  The study ran from January – June 2018 and was led by Jill MacKay a research fellow from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies who was seconded to the programme as an independent researcher.

Profile photo of Jill MacKay

Summary of Findings

One of the most interesting findings of the research was a fear among staff that recording a lecture fundamentally changed something about the lecture space. This fear manifested in two main ways.

  • Recording could make lecturers more self-conscious about their appearance, or stop them from making certain jokes, changing how they wanted to present the material.
  • More worryingly, recording a lecture placed undue importance on the lecture.

Lecturers talked about recordings ‘canonising’ the material in the lectures, making them the definitive version of the material in the eyes of the students. Both of these types of transformation were worrying for lecturers.

However, in the parallel student focus group and survey, we didn’t see any evidence of this fear. Instead, students wanted lectures to be more predictable, to know when and where they’d be recorded, and know exactly what material they could access. This was often talked about in relation to exams, which are an ever-present worry for many students.

Please follow the link below to read the full report: