One Strategy to Respond to "I'd like help recording my live lectures to use in an online course"

Posted for Matthew Miller, Instructional Designer, Educational Technologies at Missouri

This might be helpful for anyone who gets this question from faculty (or maybe it isn’t). I’d say I get this kind of question or request from faculty about 3 or 4 times a year and I just had another one last Friday. They usually go something like this:

I’d like some help recording my lectures this fall because I’m supposed to teach an online version of the course later in the year. What kind of support can you provide?

Here was my response, I tried to keep it from being too “preachy” but hopefully I wasn’t too far off the mark:

Glad you asked! Most all of my colleagues recommend against recording live lectures for an online course and I’m in agreement. It sounds like a good idea on first approach—and some of the early open online courses from Duke, MIT, and Stanford did this initially—but in the end it doesn’t end up saving time and introduces more problems for your online students. Some of the big issues are:

When your students ask questions in class, they are protected by FERPA and any recordings made need to be edited to remove their images or any questions they ask. It always seems to take way more time to do this than you might imagine. There are always things that crop up in a live class that will be specific to that course—due dates, names of assignments, questions from students about exams, etc. These end up being misleading to future students. Students in online courses regularly complain when they are required to view recordings of live lectures, and they cite feeling underserved by getting content that was not created specifically for them (even if the content is the same). The pacing and flow of a live lecture often does not translate well to video, leaving gaps where instructors are moving around or responding to questions. A good lecture created just for online students ends up being shorter and more focused. 

ET@MO does offer support for making video lectures. We’ve been able to help with lecture videos that run the gamut from high-definition videos filmed in our studio to easy-to-create PowerPoint with audio behind it (like [colleague in department] did) to videos done with a piece of software called Tegrity that basically captures everything you bring up on your laptop or desktop along with audio, etc.


Anyway, I thought I might introduce you to Boden Lyon from our learning technologies team. She knows about the range of lecture videos we’ve helped with in the past and is great when it comes to finding out what is the best match for your course and you. Would it be ok if I forwarded your question to her?

I think a lot of us get these types of requests to put live lectures in online courses. What is your approach when you respond to this perennial question?

(Thanks to Boden Lyon for prompting me to share with the department!)

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