Addressing Common Concerns About Lecture Capture

The introduction of lecture capture can provide many benefits for students including the ability to revisit difficult concepts, fill in gaps in notes and to study materials at their own pace. For staff however, lecture capture can often be seen as a divisive technology that introduces many challenges to the way they teach. This guide aims to address some of the most common concerns voiced by staff surrounding the introduction of lecture capture. Some other common concerns are addressed in the Encore Staff FAQ’s.

For an alternative take on the academic concerns surrounding lecture capture, you may be interested to read Dr Emily Nordmann’s article Capturing the Lecture?.

Will Anyone Turn up if I Record my Lectures?

lecture theatre Durham University
Image © Durham University.

The fear that lecture recordings will lead to a drop in attendance is a common concern voiced by staff at many universities when lecture capture is introduced . Whilst there have been a small number of studies that found a negative correlation (e.g. Edwards & Clinton, 2018; Traphagan et al., 2010) most have found that lecture recordings have no significant impact on attendance (e.g. White 2009, Hove & Corcoran, 2008; Aldamen et al. 2015, Nordmann et al. 2017).

What is more evident is students value the experience of face-to-face classes and in some cases are more likely to attend as they can devote undivided attention to lecture content (heads up rather than heads down) and engage in discussions with the added security that they can revisit the recording after the lecture (Franklin et al., 2011).

To be clear, the comment below refers to this  “accompanying the introduction of lecture capture”.

Do I Need to Change my Teaching Style?

The University does not require you to change your lecturing style just because your classes are now being recorded. It does, however, provide an opportunity to pause and reflect on new opportunities. For example, consider starting or ending your lecture with a few guided questions that you want the students to try and answer when watching the recording.

There is a concern amongst teaching staff that recording may change the way you behave in lectures (e.g. you may feel less willing to cover controversial topics, or say anything that could be viewed negatively). While some studies have reported that lecturers became more conscious of their presentation in class (e.g. Chang, 2007) others (e.g. Gosper et al., 2008 ) have reported that staff did not change the structure of their classes due to the introduction of lecture recordings.

Lecture recordings are supplementary and should not restrict how you teach. The guide Lecture Capture – A Good Practice Guide for Staff contains a range of simple adaptations that you may want to consider which could improve the student experience.

Can I use Third-party Copyright Materials in my Presentations?

Gaining permission to use other people’s work doesn’t only apply when lectures are being recorded, it’s something you should be consciously doing now with all of your teaching materials. Deciding what can and can’t be used can be a complex issue, as it depends on a number of factors including the type of content you’re wanting to make use of, who owns it and when it was created.

Don’t let this put you off though, there are a number of ways you can find materials that can used. For instance, the University holds licenses that permit limited amounts of copying from;

There are also lots of websites that contain public domain materials, or ones where the author has given permission for them to be re-used.

Creative Commons and the Public Domain

Creative Commons logo

When sourcing images for use in presentations look for content released into the Public Domain or under the Creative Commons CC0 license. Although copyright lawyers will correctly argue that these are subtly different, for our purposes both can be used. There are many websites dedicated to providing you with CC0 images such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels.

When using materials available under a Creative Commons CC0 license, you must provide an attribution. The following webpage explains how to give an attribution.

You may find some materials licensed under other Creative Commons licenses that specify certain conditions, for instance that you make the resource available under the same license (share alike), that you don’t make any changes (no derivatives) and that your use is non-commercial. Be sure that you can satisfy these requirements before using images released under these licenses.

To find out more, please visit the Creative Commons about the licenses page.

You may find the following Using Copyright Materials in Teaching guide useful.

Do I Need to Edit the Recordings?

Encore editor

No. In general students seem very forgiving of lecture recordings, recognising that they capture the in-room experience “warts and all” without the luxury of repeated re-takes. As such it is generally not worth spending a lot of time editing them post-lecture. Analysis of lecture recordings at other institutions has shown that the vast majority are posted un-edited. The edit facility exists though and you may want to use it to cut out something you wish you’d paused (e.g. a fire drill or someone asking a question not relevant to the rest of the class). Far more important is getting the recordings out quickly. This makes sense – if students are writing up their notes shortly after a lecture, they’ll only use the lecture recordings if they are available. If not, they’ll take notes and move on. Sarsfield & Conway (2016) have shown that if lecture recordings are released late, the viewing figures are much lower than those released immediately after the lecture.

But What if I Made a Mistake?

It’s very common after the lecture to doubt what you said, it is only human to be concerned that you may have made a mistake. The Encore system now gives you the opportunity to replay recorded lectures and clarify any doubts you may have.

If you do discover a mistake in a recording that wasn’t addressed during the lecture, you have several options. You can use the Encore editor to replace a section of the recording with an updated slide/commentary.  Or you could use the Notes feature to add a time stamped message that appears to students when they revisit the relevant part of the recording. If you’re using the Notes feature, remember to make your message public so your students can see it.


Aldamen, H., Al-Esmail, R., & Hollindale, J. (2015). Does lecture capturing impact student performance and attendance in an introductory accounting course? Accounting Education, 24(4), 291–317.

Briggs, L., 2007. “Can classroom capture boost retention rates?” Campus Technology. Available at: articles/2007/10/can-classroom-capture-boost-retention-rates.aspx. Accessed 15th May 2018.

Chang, S., 2007. Academic perceptions of the use of Lectopia: A University of Melbourne example. In In “ICT: providing choices for learners and learning”. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. Singapore, pp. 135–144. Available at:

Edwards, M.R. & Clinton, M.E. High Educ (2018).

Franklin, D.S., Gibson, J.W., Samuel, J.C. et al. Med.Sci.Educ. (2011) 21: 21. Accessed on 14th September 2018.

Groen, J. F., Quigley, B., & Herry, Y. (2016). Examining the Use of Lecture Capture Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7 (1). Accessed 11th September 2018.

Hove, M & Kevin J. Corcoran (2008) If You Post It, Will They Come? Lecture Availability in Introductory Psychology, Teaching of Psychology, 35:2, 91-95, DOI: 10.1080/00986280802004560

Mayer, R (2001) Multimedia learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Nordmann, E., Calder, C., Bishop, P., Irwin, A., & Comber, D. (2018, July 4). Turn up, tune in, don’t drop out: The relationship between lecture attendance, use of lecture recordings, and achievement at different levels of study.

Sarsfield, M & Conway J (2016) “What can we learn from learning analytics? A case study based on an analysis of student use of video recordings.” Paper 1247 presented at ALT-C 2016. Slides available at Accessed 15th May 2018.

Traphagan, Tomoko & Kucsera, John & Kishi, Kyoko. (2010). Impact of class lecture webcasting on attendance and learning. Educational Technology Research and Development. 58. 19-37. 10.1007/s11423-009-9128-7 [Accessed September 12, 2018].

Woo, K., Gosper, M., McNeill, M., Preston, G., Green, D., & Phillips, R (2008) Web-based lecture technologies: blurring the boundaries between face-to-face and distance learning, ALT-J, 16:2, 81-93, DOI: 10.1080/09687760802315895