The use of Lecture Capture in Light of Teaching Approach and Content Type: An Institution-Wide Study
Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Jared Danielson
Director, Office of Curricular and Student Assessment
Assistant Professor, Veterinary Pathology
ISU College of Veterinary Medicine
Existing lecture capture research has focused on implementations of lecture capture in individual courses. This project will build on existing research by analyzing the use of lecture capture across an entire veterinary curriculum and identifying how teaching approaches and content types are associated with (1) student and faculty attitudes towards lecture capture and (2) learning outcomes. Three cohorts of veterinary students (n = approximately 385), and all faculty who teach them (n = approximately 40) will be invited to participate in the study. Student attitudes towards lecture capture will be measured via a survey and focus group interviews, and faculty attitudes will be measured via individual interviews and a survey. We will use a qualitative data coding process to generate themes from interview data, which will then be used to contribute to survey design. Teaching approach and course content categories have already been identified using a factor analysis of senior exit survey responses, as well as from an analysis of faculty members’ reported teaching approaches. The relationships between attitudes towards lecture capture, teaching approaches and course content, will be explored using a Friedman nonparametric test. Student final exam scores and standardized exam scores will be collected to measure learning outcomes. Differences between baseline learning outcomes measures and measures subsequent to the implementation of Lecture capture will be explored using independent samples t-tests. Results will be disseminated both within the local college, university, and through national/international conferences and journals.
A. Brief overview of learning technology, lecture capture, and the focus of this project
Viewed broadly, learning technologies are any technologies that are used to promote learning. Video recordings of lectures are one such technology. While instruction with video has occurred for decades, the routine practice of lecture capture in the context of traditional classroom instruction is a relatively new development. Available research generally provides support for the use of lecture capture. Many students cite a number of benefits, including the ability to review key points, obtain additional clarity, make up for unavoidable conflicts, and review for tests (Wilson and Weiser 2001; Winer and Cooperstock 2002; Simpson 2006; Yudko, Hirokawa et al. 2008). Lecture capture was found to have additional specific benefit for learners for whom the lecturer was not speaking their first language, by providing high quality audio, and the opportunity to pause and rewind (Simpson 2006). Additionally, contrary to popularly held reservations about lecture capture, Yudko, Hirokawa, et al (2008) found that students generally do not miss classroom lectures because of the availability of an on-line lecture.
In this project we propose to explore student and faculty perceptions of the use of lecture capture, as well as the impact of this technology on learning, and to see how perceptions or learning impact vary, depending on the teaching approach and content area of the course in which lecture capture is used. Of the available lecture capture research, much is based on case-studies involving specific instances of lecture capture use in individual courses. Such studies provide useful but limited information regarding lecture capture because they explore limited cases and therefore are difficult to generalize from. The study we propose would help to address this deficiency by exploring lecture capture use in three cohorts of students across an entire curriculum. Because the same students will take courses in multiple areas that are taught using a variety of teaching styles, we will be able to explore differences in content area and teaching approach without the confounding effects of individual learner characteristics common to more limited studies. As a result, results are more likely to be broadly applicable.
The proposed study would occur at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The ISU College of Veterinary medicine first implemented lecture capture with the Apreso system in the Fall of 2006. Tracking use statistics became feasible when the college transitioned to the current Echo360 system in the fall of 2008. Adoption of the capture system was slow initially, but encouraged by students, many faculty members have chosen to adopt it more recently, with substantial increase in use during the past year. From July 2008 – July 2009 hundreds of lectures from 51 courses were viewed by students. The current practice at the college is to automatically record all classroom lectures unless specifically requested by the instructor not to do so. Lectures are accessible to students via WebCT course pages.
B. Key Goals and work plan to address them
This project’s main goal is to meaningfully contribute to the field of lecture capture research by answering the following 3 questions. (The first two questions have to do with student and faculty attitudes towards lecture capture. The third question has to do with the actual learning outcome of implementing lecture capture.)
1. What is the relationship between instructor teaching approach and the attitudes that instructors and students have towards lecture capture?
2. What is the relationship between course content type and the attitudes that instructors and students have towards lecture capture?
3. What is the relationship between use of lecture capture and learning gains? Is this relationship associated with teaching approach or course content?
Alignment with Echo360 project goals
This project is primarily aligned with the first of the Echo Capture grant criteria: Demonstrate a significant, original contribution to the field of lecture capture research. However, we believe that the project will indirectly address all of the criteria, including showing the institution-wide impacts of lecture capture, and promoting collaboration within and beyond the institution as the findings are disseminated at the project’s end.
C. Project Plan to answer each question:
Question 1. What is the relationship between instructor teaching approach and the attitudes that instructors and students have towards lecture capture?
Through recent unpublished assessment work, we used two sources of data to categorize instructor teaching approach. First, a factor analysis of ISU veterinary student survey response data was conducted to determine how students categorize their courses. Second, courses were examined informally to determine the approach purposefully employed by the instructor. This analysis produced two teaching approach factors, which will be explored across several levels. The first factor, lecture style, includes three broad levels (or types): 1. straight lecture (characterized predominantly by formal in-class presentations by the instructor(s), 2. interactive lecture (similar to straight lecture, but sessions are interrupted by interaction, such as clicker questions), and 3. mixed lecture/group work (instructor lecture accompanied by group-work, (included Team Based Learning (TBL)). The second teaching approach factor, curricular coordination, involves 2 levels: 1. tight curricular coordination (course planned and coordinated by a small number of instructors with clear goals), and 2. loose curricular coordination (less coordination among a relatively large number of instructors.)
Existing ISU veterinary college assessment data reveals that courses producing the highest satisfaction scores and learning gains are tightly coordinated courses with either a mixed lecture/group work or interactive lecture pedagogical style. We hypothesize the following:
1. Student satisfaction with lecture capture will be high across all teaching approaches, but it will be highest for courses with loose curricular coordination and a straight lecture style. (These courses provide students with the least amount of structured help apart from lecture, so the added benefit of lecture capture is likely to be greatest for these courses.)
2. Faculty satisfaction with lecture capture will be highest for faculty in mixed or interactive lecture courses, because such faculty have demonstrated their willingness to embrace curricular change and therefore are less likely to feel threatened by lecture capture. Faculty satisfaction will not be affected by whether or not the curriculum is tightly coordinated.
Question 2. What is the relationship between course content type and the attitudes that instructors and students have towards lecture capture?
In addition to the teaching approaches described above, four course types emerged that have to do with the inherent content of the course, or present an interaction between course content and teaching approach. Those types are:
1. Clinical/problem solving. (Courses with an inherently clinical/problem solving subject matter, such as medicine or surgery)
2. Basic Science – applied. (Courses that cover basic science material, but do so in an applied, case-based context)
3. Basic Science - research orientation. (Courses that cover basic science material, and do so in a non-applied, research or memorization-based context)
4. Non-traditional. (Courses that are perceived by students to be less central to the main purpose of their education, such as veterinary societal issues, ethics, and communication)
We hypothesize that the perceived benefit of lecture capture will be somewhat greater for Clinical/Problem solving courses and Basic Science-applied courses, than for the other courses, because these courses are likely to involve more causal reasoning and less factual memorization. Therefore, they are likely to involve more technical explanations that students will find useful to review multiple times.
Data regarding student/faculty attitude towards lecture capture as it relates to teaching approach (Question 1) and content type (Question 2) will be collected using individual interviews (faculty), focus group interviews (students), and a survey (both students and faculty). Interviews and focus groups will be conducted first. The resulting data will be analyzed using a qualitative data coding process whereby major themes are identified and associated with specific responses. These results will be used to inform the design of the subsequent survey. Two slightly different forms of the same survey will be designed – one for faculty, and one for students. All students in all three cohorts (n = approximately 385) and all teaching faculty (n = approximately 40) at the veterinary college will be invited to respond to the questionnaire. The questionnaire will be comprised primarily of 5-point Likert scale questions seeking to determine respondents’ attitudes towards factors such as the effect of lecture capture on learning, attendance, class activities, circumstances in which lecture capture is most used, and so forth, including issues that emerge from the interviews and focus group sessions. Differences in responses by teaching approach and content will be explored using the Friedman nonparametric test (the non-parametric equivalent to a within-subjects analysis of variance.)
Question 3. What is the relationship between use of lecture capture and learning gains? Is this relationship associated with teaching approach or course content?
This study will allow us to explore correlative relationships between the implementation of lecture capture and learning gains. This analysis will not be possible for all courses. However, it will be possible for most first and second year core courses, for which several sources of learning outcomes data are available, including 1. the Qualifying Exam (QE) – a standardized examination of basic science knowledge, and 2. course final examination scores. Baseline data (scores obtained prior to implementation of the lecture capture system) will be compared with scores obtained following implementation of the capture system using independent samples T-tests to determine if there was a significant difference in students’ understanding after implementation of the lecture capture system. We hypothesize that if there is a significant difference, it will favor the use of lecture capture.
The project’s key goal is to successfully answer the questions posed in part I above. The primary success of the project will be judged by its ability to successfully address this goal and disseminate the results. While there are multiple dissemination goals, this goal will be considered successful following publication of the results in a peer reviewed journal.
Project sub-goals are to reveal institution-wide impacts of lecture capture, and promote collaboration within and outside the individual institution. Realization of these goals are also closely tied to our dissemination plan (part III, below). Because our plan is to disseminate the findings of this research study within the college, within the broader university, and to the broader audience of the field of learning technology, the dissemination process will provide the opportunity to discuss the findings and their implications at the local and national/international levels. This is likely to provide considerable information regarding the impacts of lecture capture on the institution, and to promote collaboration both within and outside of the institution. Success of these goals will be measured by quantifying the curricular decisions at the college and university that were influenced by this information, and the number of new collaborations that emerge from the project following dissemination.
III. Dissemination Plan
Following the completion of the project, a number of presentations will be scheduled both within and outside of Iowa State University, in which we will share the results of the research project. Presentations will include:
1. A college-wide presentation at the veterinary college
2. A university-wide presentation through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CELT) at Iowa State University.
3. Presentations to at least one medical-education centered national/international organization (e.g. the International Association of Medical Science Educators, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, the American Association of Medical Colleges), and at least one general learning and/or learning technologies conference (such as the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), Educause, or the American Educational Research Association (AERA).)
Additionally, one or more manuscripts will be submitted to a relevant international journal (Computers and Education, The British Journal of Instructional Technology, Educational Technology, Research and Development, or similar). Finally, results will be described and disseminated on the PI’s college webpage, and/or assessment webpage, and disseminated through press releases and the 2010 Echo360 Community Conference as outlined in the grant guidelines.
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