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An Investigation Into Student Lecture Attendance, Their Use of Recorded Lectures and Subject Outcomes
La Trobe University
Dr Sherrie Wentworth
Anatomy Discipline Coordinator
Department of Human Biosciences
School of Public Health and Human Biosciences
La Trobe University
The first aim of this project is to examine the relationship between student use of recorded lectures and final grades in 2 first year anatomy and physiology subjects. Evidence in the literature is divided and ranges from a positive relationship to no relationship, to an apparently negative relationship. To carry out this aim we will look retrospectively at student use of the recorded lectures over 3 years (2009-2011) by an annual cohort of 1100 to 1400 first year anatomy and physiology subjects at La Trobe University, who are split across the 5 La Trobe campuses. Student usage will be determined by examination of the Lectopia Reporting system which gives a large amount of data on how the recorded lectures are used by the students as well as the use by individual students which can be seen when the Lectopia system is linked to the La Trobe Learning Management System.
The second aim of this project is to examine in more detail the relationship between lecture attendance (both at live lecture venues and at videoconferenced venues on 2 campuses), the use of recorded lectures and the students’ final subject results. We will do this by studying both 2nd year and 3rd year cohorts of anatomy students who are taking first semester anatomy subjects in 2012. For many of these students, their usage of the recorded lectures can be traced through both their first and second year anatomy studies. Students will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will incorporate questions on their use and perceptions of the recorded lectures and over their years of enrolment at University.
This project will provide more evidence on the use of recorded lectures and final student grades, the link between lecture attendance and the usage of recorded lectures and student thoughts on their use of the recorded lectures over years of enrolment in their study of anatomy. This information will be used to improve the understanding of the use of the lecture capture system though the University and the wider University community so as to maximise student learning and student results.
There is increasing concern amongst lecturers that due to the availability of on-line learning tools including recorded lectures, students are not attending the live lectures and the perception is that they are therefore not learning the subject content and running the risk of failing or at the very least gaining lower marks (Steward et al., 2011; Traphagan et al., 2010; Bowman, 2009). Student appreciation of and use of recorded lectures has been widely reported (Bacro, et al., 2010; Nast, et al., 2009; Cardall et al., 2008) and it is presumed that those students not attending the live lectures are reviewing the lecture in their own time. Reports of how well students perform in final examination when they use recorded lectures vary from an improved performance (Bassili & Joordens, 2008; Grabe & Christopherson, 2008), to no statistical difference (Bacro et al., 2010; Bollmeier, et al. 2010) to a report that the poorer students are the ones that use the recorded lectures the most (Joordens, et al. 2009).
This project will look retrospectively at student use of the recorded lecture system Lectopia over 3 years (2009-2011) and correlate this with student results in first year anatomy and physiology subjects at La Trobe University. It will then prospectively examine student use of recorded lectures, attendance at lectures and final subject results in both a 2nd year and 3rd year cohort of first semester anatomy students in 2012. Many of these students can be traced through both first and second year as they used the Lectopia lecture capture system. Students will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will incorporate questions on their use and perceptions of recorded lectures and if that changed over their years at University.
In 2009, the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University commenced the first year of their new degree structure across the Faculty. That year saw 1300 first year students enrol in a common first year with the 7 core first year subjects utilizing the Lectopia system to record lectures. These 1300 students were located across 5 campuses, 1 metropolitan (Melbourne) and 4 regional (Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura). To deliver lectures to all these students a combination of live and videoconferenced lectures were used. All lectures were automatically captured using the Lectopia lecture recording system. Lectures were recorded from both the Melbourne campus and the Bendigo campus. Student numbers have increased over the intervening years so that in 2011 up to 1600 students are enrolled in the core subjects within the first year.
Basic anatomy and physiology was taught to 1400 first year students this year in two subjects, Human Biosciences A (physiology) in semester one and Human Biosciences B (anatomy) in semester two. These students are located across the 5 La Trobe campuses. On the Melbourne campus, due to the large numbers, students alternate between receiving live lectures or lectures videoconferenced from the live venue. The regional campuses have 1 live lecture site and 3 videoconferenced sites. At the Melbourne campus attendance at the videoconferenced venue declined to such an extent that the venue was cancelled. Usage of the recorded lectures was noted to be very high. At the regional campuses such a high decline in attendance was not observed, particularly at the smaller campuses – perhaps due to the effects of being in a smaller cohort of students, although Lectopia usage is still very high.
The retrospective study will involve approximately 1100 students in 2009, 1300 students in 2010 and 1400 students in 2011 who were all enrolled in the two first year anatomy and physiology subjects. The Lectopia usage tools will be used to study usage patterns (generally noted to be highest within the couple of days after the lecture) over the 3 years and the number of times each student used the recorded lectures (varying from over 600 hits for 1 student this year for a total of 26 lectures) to students who did not use the recorded lectures at all and to correlate usage with final grades in their anatomy and physiology subjects. Any differences between the way the recorded lectures were used by the new first year students in their first semester at University and their second semester as they settle into University life will be noted.
Students who progress into some 2nd year anatomy subjects or into a 3rd year anatomy elective in 2012 will be followed. In first year the anatomy and physiology student cohort includes most of the Faculty of Health Sciences students. The courses these students are enrolled in are Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Speech Therapy, Orthoptics, Health Information Management, Dietetics, Paramedicine, Oral Health, Nursing, Midwifery and the general degree of Bachelor of Health Sciences. The second year anatomy students will be Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry and Speech Therapy students being taught in 3 separate subjects. These students study anatomy subjects that are taught across two campuses and students alternate between live lectures from their own campus and videoconferenced lectures when the lecture is coming from the other campus. Again all lectures are automatically recorded by the lecture capture system.
The 3rd year students are from the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. This elective is only taught on the Melbourne campus and consists of a much smaller cohort of students. The subject ran for the first time this year with 20 students and will have 40 in 2012. At first year level Students entering this subject come from a variety of backgrounds, from both the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Technology, so not all can be easily followed in their usage of Lectopia for their first year, but all can be followed from second year. Not only will student usage be examined during first semester in 2012, a record will also be made of student attendance at lectures. This will be correlated with usage of the recorded lectures and final grades in their subjects.
Qualitative data will be examined from student questionnaires given to both the 2nd and 3rd year students. They will be asked about their perceptions of their usage, why they used recorded lectures and what benefits they felt came from using them.
In summary, the aims of this project are:
-to determine if there is any correlation between recorded lecture usage and final results by using the extensive data available from the first year cohort of students over the 3 year retrospective study.
-to determine if there is any correlation between usage of recorded lectures, lecture attendance and final results using the data collected in 2012 from the 2nd and 3rd year students
-to study students perceptions of recorded lectures and to obtain their thoughts on why they were using these lectures and on whether they used them in combination with lectures or as a replacement for lectures
which will lead to a greater understanding of how lecture capture systems may be used to improve the teaching of anatomy and other subjects within the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University and in the broader community.
These aims fit within the desired topics of the Echo360 Blended Learning Grants Program of learning outcomes and student retention. Learning outcomes will be addressed via the study into use of recorded lectures from the lecture capture system and final subject grades. Student retention is addressed in the study involved specific cohorts of students who are followed from 1st year, into 2nd year and for some, into 3rd year.
Dissemination of Results
Presentation of results at conferences, e.g.
-Echo360 User Conference
-La Trobe Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Conference 2012
-HERDSA Annual Conference
Publication of papers reporting on the results
Discussion of results at the La Trobe University Teaching and Learning forums and publication on University websites
Bacro, T.R.H., Gebregziabher, M, & Fitzharris, T.P. (2010) Evaluation of a lecture recording system in a medical curriculum. Anat. Sci. Educ. 3: 300-308.
Bassili, J.N. & Joordens, S. (2008) Media player tool use, satisfaction with online lectures and examination performance. Journal of Distance Education, 22(2): 93-107.
Bollmeier, S.G., Wenger, P.J., & Forinash, A.B. (2010) Impact of online lecture-capture on student outcomes in a therapeutics course. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(7): Article 127.
Bowman, L.L. (2009) Does posting powerpoint presentations on WebCT affect class performance or attendance? Journal of Instructional Psychology. 36(2), 104-107.
Cardall, S., Krupat, E., & Ulrich. M. (2008) Live lecture versus video-recorded lecture: Are students voting with their feet? Academic Medicine, 83(12): 1174-1178.
Grabe, M. & Christopherson, K. (2008) Optional student use of online lecture resources: resource preferences, performance and lecture attendance. Journal of Compter Assisted Learning. 24: 1-10.
Joordens, S., Le, A. Grinnell, R. & Chrysostomou, S. (2009) Eating your lectures and having them too: Is online lecture availability especially helpful in “skills-based” courses? Electronic Journal of e-Learning. 7(3): 281-288. Available online at www.ejel.org
Nast, A., Schäfer-Hesterberg, G., Zielke, H., Sterry, W., & Rzany, B. (2009) Online lectures for students in dermatology: A replacement for traditional teaching or a valuable addition? JEADV 23: 1039-1043.
Stewart, M., Stott, T. & Nuttall, A-M. (2011) Student Engagement Patterns over the Duration of Level 1 and Level 3 Geography Modules: Influences on Student Attendance, Performance and Use of Online Resources. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 35(1): 47-65
Traphagan, T, Vucsera, J.V., & Kishi, K. (2010) Impact of class lecture web casting on attendance and learning. Education Tech Research Dev. 58: 19-37.
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An Investigation into Student Lecture Attendance, Their Use of Recorded Lectures and Subject Outcomes La Trobe University
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