Lecture Capture – A Good Practice Guide for Staff

This guide offers some recommendations for academic staff when using Encore for recorded lectures.

Introduce Encore to Your Students

Encore banner

It’s important to let students know how you intend to use the Encore service. If students know from the start that your lectures are being recorded, they more likely to spend this valuable time engaging in the session rather than taking verbatim notes in fear of missing something.

When you first introduce Encore, there are a few important points that you should tell your students.

  1. Stress that recordings are to be used as a supplementary resource.
  2. Recordings capture audio and content digitally projected on screen – not video footage of the session.
  3. Not every session will be recorded.
  4. Sessions can be paused using the Encore Indicator Light.
  5. Where to find advice and guidance on using lecture recordings to support learning.

A short presentation about Encore has been prepared for you. Use the following link to download a copy of the Encore Introduction slides.

Consider the Needs of Students with Disabilities

Lecture capture provides a lot of affordances for students, such as the ability to search for text on screen and the words you speak. This can be of particular benefit to students with disabilities and/or whose first language is not English.

For students with disabilities, lecture recordings are seen as a key part in helping to create an equal learning environment at university (Williams & Fardon, 2007).

If you’ve chosen not to record your sessions, you should consider whether you need to provide alternative methods of supporting students with disabilities in the absence of lecture capture .

Using the Microphone

lavalier microphone
Photo by FloTV on Pixabay.

The microphone used for recording your voice is located on the lectern and is designed to provide coverage across the front of the room. The boundary microphone will always be turned on and is connected to the Encore system.

Be mindful that the lectern microphone will struggle to capture your voice if you walk towards the back of the room. For this reason you should always wear a lapel microphone in rooms where they’re available. The lapel microphone will amplify your voice through the PA system and also feeds directly into the induction loop for the benefit of students with hearing difficulties.

Handling Questions by Students in Recorded Lectures

students raising their hands
Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

A common concern is that students will be less inclined to engage in lectures and refrain from asking questions when they know they’re being recorded. Actually, by recording your lectures it offers students the opportunity to focus on what you’re saying and not feel pressured to take verbatim notes. This may allow them to think about what you are saying and prompt more questions and interaction.

There may be times during sessions when students ask questions but may not want their contribution to be recorded. To address this need you can pause the session at any time using the Encore Indicator Light.

You may want to establish a way for your students to inform you they want you to pause. Some suggested ways of doing this are:

  1. Ask the student if you want the session to be paused before they ask their question.
  2. Establish a way for students to visually communicate that they want you to pause the session e.g. by raising two hands, or by pointing towards the light.
  3. Pause the session for all student questions.

When students are happy for their contributions to be recorded you should repeat questions asked by students. This not only allows you to clarify the question being asked, but also ensures that everyone will hear it – in the room and later in the recording.

Using Visual Aids Associated with the Presentation Software

When you want to refer to something specific on screen e.g. a value in a graph, or part of an image, try to use the tools available through the computer such as the mouse pointer or laser pointer within PowerPoint. This will allow your visual cues to be captured within the recording so students can see what you were referring to when they revisit the recording. Also, remember to describe what you’re presenting for the benefit of anyone with visual impairments.

How to Enhance Student Interaction and Engagement in Recorded Lectures

A common concern is that students will be less inclined to engage in lectures and refrain from asking questions when they know they’re being recorded. Actually, by recording your lectures it offers students the opportunity to focus on what you’re saying and not feel pressured to take verbatim notes. This may allow them to think about what you are saying and prompt more questions and interaction.

It’s important to remind students that the recording doesn’t need to alter their behaviour during the lecture. Whilst many students will be happy to have their questions recorded (as part of the lecture experience) If they do not want to have it recorded, you can pause the recording at any time using the indicator light.

Also, remind students that the recordings are only made available to other students on the module, who will have already heard them say it in class. If they say something that is captured in the recording, it is only their peers in the module that can access it later.

What Should I Tell my Students to do With the Recordings?

encore student view

Studies of student use of recordings (such as Briggs, 2007; Groen et al., 2016; Nordmann et al., 2018) show a variety of scenarios when students turn to lecture capture:

  • picking up on things they missed in class
  • revisiting complex ideas and concepts
  • taking notes
  • working through the materials at their own pace
  • revising for exams.

The key is that these are all active tasks – where the students do more than simply watch the videos.

Treat lecture recordings as any other learning resource – tell your students how you suggest they use them (and when). Don’t ask or expect students to re-watch the entire lecture, or “box-set” your course – watching back to back lecture recordings. Unless they have missed the lectures through illness this is not a good use of their time. Instead suggest students revisit any parts of the lecture they found difficult, or where they need to fill in gaps in their notes.

They may need guidance showing them how to use video for academic learning, not just for entertainment (or finding out how to fix a leaking tap). For this it is suggested you point them towards the Studying with Lecture Recordings guide.

Use the statistics features to see if and when students are accessing the recordings. If the patterns are not as you expect, talk to your students to find out why. Expect that just like other learning activities, some will be group activities – students may sit together and use the lecture capture as a prompt for informal group discussions.

Are There any Approaches That can Help?

Yes. Psychologist Richard Mayer outlined some principles of learning relevant to designing multimedia for learning (Mayer, 2001). These apply to students watching recordings of your lectures.

  • Multimedia principle – student learning is improved when content is delivered using words and pictures rather than just words. That’s why recording the audio can really help.
  • Contiguity principle – student learning is improved when pictures and related words are presented at the same time or next to each other on the screen; Note this is definitely not saying read out text from your slides!
  • Modality principle – spoken words are better than printed text for explaining images – so talk students through a diagram.
  • Signalling principle – learning material should be organised with clear outlines and headings – so give your slides titles and make it obvious when you change topic or are introducing a counter-argument.
  • Personalisation principle – a conversational style is better than a formal style for learning. Let your enthusiasm for the topic shine through!

In her guide on effective educational videos (Brame, 2015) recommends providing tools to students process the information and to monitor their own understanding. This includes incorporating guided questions into your lectures that students can explore further when revisiting the recording later.

You may also want to suggest students make use interactive player features that give them more control over their learning. This includes searching the recording and bookmarking important sections for later viewing.


Brame, C.J. (2015). Effective educational videos. Retrieved [Accessed 10th September 2018].  from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/.

Briggs, L., 2007. “Can classroom capture boost retention rates?” Campus Technology. Available at: http://campustechnology.com/ articles/2007/10/can-classroom-capture-boost-retention-rates.aspx. Accessed 15th May 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). http://dx.doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2016.1.8. Accessed 11th September 2018.

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

Nordmann, E., Calder, C., Bishop, P., Irwin, A., & Comber, D. [Accessed 4th July 2018]. Turn up, tune in, don’t drop out: The relationship between lecture attendance, use of lecture recordings, and achievement at different levels of study. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/fd3yj. Accessed on 11th September 2018.

Williams, J. & Fardon, M., 2007. Lecture recordings: extending access for students with disabilities. In Research paper for ALT-C: Beyond Control 2007, University of Nottingham. Nottingham.