Case study: Re/Play lecture capture


Department of Russian, Faculty of Arts

Tools used



Claire teaches two units on soviet social and cultural history to students of Russian Language and Culture. These are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. The lectures introduce students to relevant historical information (facts, dates, events) and frames of analysis specific to the discipline.

The weight of information transmitted in lectures, while essential, has sometimes been seen as problematic by students and they have approached Claire to ask for transcripts. Claire does not want to do this as she believes that her students need to listen, synthesise information and take notes as these are important skills for the students to develop.

Claire has taken part in a couple of TEL related pilot schemes, while she is not evangelical about technology, she has identified specific pedagogical problems which technology could help with. This was the impetus for taking part in the early adopters phase of the Re/Play roll out.


  • Support students in ensuring they get everything the need to out of the lecture
  • Preserve the lecture experience

What was done

As part of the Early Adopters Program for Mediasite, the recordings for both units lectures were scheduled, so started and stopped, automatically. All Claire needed to do in the lecture theatre was wear the lapel microphone and move through her visual aides as normal. Completed recordings were added to the relevant units in Blackboard and published two days after the event. Edits were not made to the completed recordings except to remove unexpected interruptions such as a fire alarm.


Firstly the recordings met the original objective of providing a backup resource for the students. What Claire was not expecting however was changes in both the way her students learned and the way she taught the units.

Claire did not experience any effect on the attendance in her lectures but the students behaviour in these sessions changed. They displayed striking differences in how they listened and did not spend the whole time desperately trying to take notes. At times Claire found that the whole room was sitting back and listening to what she was saying. Student feedback confirmed that they felt this was a different experience for them ‘I took fewer notes and listened more’.

Students were no longer contacting Claire to ask for clarification of points delivered in the lecture as they could listen back to the recordings. Emails received changed to asking much more important questions on the subject matter.

The experience of being recorded was less disconcerting than Claire originally thought. She felt the need to script her lectures was also reduced. The big change however for the teaching was that it freed up the seminar times. In previous years these had been used to cover the same content as in the lecture but this was no longer such a pressing need for the students. These sessions became an opportunity for creative discussion and allowed students the freedom to explore the subject in more depth.