Another study shows the bad influence of recorded lectures on learning and attendance

This morning Frederik Anseel (@fanseel) tweeted this study that is pretty much in line with previous research: when students can have recordings of the lectures, attendance substantially drops and there is not a positive effect on the grades to say the least.

Or in short

Or in words:

Given the importance that attendance is known to have on attainment, if the introduction of lecture capture has a negative impact on grades, this is highly likely to flow through and have a negative impact on attainment so our findings are of no surprise here given the drastic drop in attendance that we witness after lecture capture introduction.

One could say ‘no shit, Sherlock’, still it’s true that a lot of universities invest a  lot of time, effort and money into something that even might hurt more specifically the students who need it the most. On the other side, I did have already also positive experiences with this kind of recordings e.g. for students who couldn’t attend because of illness.

Abstract of the study:

Lecture capture is widely used within higher education as a means of recording lecture material for online student viewing. However, there is some uncertainty around whether this is a uniformly positive development for students. The current study examines the impact of lecture capture introduction and usage in a compulsory second year research methods module in a undergraduate BSc degree. Data collected from a matched cohort before (N = 161) and after (N = 160) lecture capture introduction showed that attendance substantially dropped in three matched lectures after capture became available. Attendance, which predicts higher attainment (controlling for students’ previous grade and gender), mediates a negative relationship between lecture capture availability and attainment. Lecture capture viewing shows no significant relationship with attainment whilst factoring in lecture attendance; capture viewing also fails to compensate for the impact that low attendance has on attainment. Thus, the net effect of lecture capture introduction on the cohort is generally negative; the study serves as a useful example (that can be communicated students) of the pitfalls of an over-reliance on lecture capture as a replacement for lecture attendance.

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