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UW Bothell Faculty Members Experiment with Tegrity

UPDATE (2/13/2012): Dr. Kim Williams-Guillén reports that her class attendance remains at 90 percent, even with the availability of the recordings.

“Even though I have all the lectures posted on Tegrity I have been averaging above 90% attendance rate for the quarter, so it’s not like all the students abandoned ship once the lectures went online!  Partly that is because we actually do a lot of activities and group work in class that Tegrity is (not yet, at least) able to capture,Williams-Guillén wrote.

Since the Tegrity lecture capture system arrived on campus Winter quarter, Dr. Carol Leppa, Interim Director and Professor of Nursing, Dr. Kim Williams-Guillén, Acting Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Robert Turner, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science, have all made forays into using the technology and all report positive results.

Tegrity is lecture capture software that allows instructors to capture video of themselves, audio of their voice and computer screen activity, such as Web browsing or PowerPoint presentation slides. Lectures (construe this term broadly) can be captured as they take place in front of a room of students or privately in one’s office as a way to create a video lecture for students to view outside of class.*

[Note: if you are interested in learning more about Tegrity as an instructional tool, contact Learning Technologies at learningtech@uwb.edu.]

As a term, “lecture capture” suggests a simple, limited and, perhaps, limiting technology for recording one’s class lecture. But, the work that Leppa, Williams-Guillén and Turner have done with Tegrity shows the surprising array of uses for the technology. In essence, Tegrity makes it easy for instructors to create video content for their students without needing any video production or editing expertise whatsoever.

Leppa decided to use it for the first time during the third week of classes when the snow storm closed down campus. Her digital storytelling class needed to move forward, despite the inclement weather. Sitting at home on her laptop computer, she recorded a brief video to explain an assignment and to prepare the students for the next class.

“I found I could do more nimble demonstrations of my expectations for how they needed to prepare for the next week’s f-2-f [face-to-face] session by doing the recording – vs [versus] doing it all by text descriptions,” she wrote in an email.

And her students loved it, said Leppa. “They loved the ability to put me on ‘pause’ when their family or other issues dragged their attention away.  They loved the ability to review the parts of the session that walked through some basics ‘here’s a tip for how to work on Blackboard’.  Several students said it felt very ‘personable’ and ‘real’ and that they enjoyed the change in voice inflection and presence they felt with my recorded self.”

Dr. Williams-Guillén planned to use Tegrity from the start of the quarter and has recorded all of her in-class lectures. She writes in an email that she “didn’t really have a compelling reason not to [use the Tegrity system]… and that students can study [using the recordings] if they miss class.”

Class attendance has been a major concern for faculty when considering lecture recordings. In the literature review for their study on lecture capture’s impact on student perceptions and academic performance, Owston et al. (2011) (link sent through the UW Libraries proxy) write that “the literature provides mixed results on the influence of lecture capture on student attendance” (263). While some studies have found no impact on attendance, others have seen a decline in-class attendance, write Owston et al.. [Note: Owston et al. provides a nice overview of the literature on lecture capture and an interesting case study of its impact on learning and student satisfaction.]

As for Williams-Guillén’s class, she writes that “there’s a lot we do in class for credit so students are compelled to come at least sometimes” [see update above regarding her attendance]. The key issue, then, is course design, the means by which you can determine when, where and how your students are engaged with the course. By designing the course to include in-class activities, you can mitigate the issues with attendance that could come with lecture capture.

Turner also planned to record lectures throughout the quarter, but he has done so in his office and at home, rather than in front of the class. He did so “to shift lectures from in class to online, so we can have more interactive learning in class,” writes Turner.

Turner designed an “inverted classroom,” one that moves the information transmission function of the lecture outside of the class and engages the students in interactive and social learning in class.

Despite the successes that all three faculty members have had, there have been small technical issues. Both Leppa and Turner have experienced what Leppa appropriately named the “Darth Vader” voice. During playback of a recording, the speaker’s voice suddenly slows down and becomes very deep, like that of the helmeted villain.

Working with Tegrity support staff in Seattle, UWB IT and Learning Technologies have worked to remedy the situation. If you plan to use Tegrity yourself, UWB IT and Learning Technologies can work to mitigate these kinds of issues at the outset.

Overall, Leppa, Williams-Guillén and Turner report positive experiences, and their students have given them positive feedback on having access to the recordings.

If you’d like to learn more about Tegrity as an instructional tool, contact Learning Technologies at learningtech@uwb.edu.

*Note: Currently, Tegrity is only available for use by “instructors of record” of academic courses. This means that staff and others who are not the official instructor for a UW Bothell course cannot access and use Tegrity as of yet. UW IT in Seattle has plans to make Tegrity more widely accessible, and the Learning Technologies team will communicate to the campus when this happens.

Works Cited

Owston, R., Lupshenyuk, D., & Wideman, H. (September 01, 2011). Lecture capture in large undergraduate classes: Student perceptions and academic performance. The Internet and Higher Education, 14, 4, 262-268.

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