Lecture Capture

Lecture Capture software available at U of T:


You can use webinar tools (MS Teams Meeting or Zoom) to create a meeting of one (just yourself) and using the built-in screen and camera tools, make a lecture capture.

U of T’s licensed lecture capture software is TechSmith Snagit.

NOTE: TechSmith Snagit is not compatible with classroom podium computers. To record lectures at a classroom podium, instructors will have to use a laptop with Snagit installed.

Understanding Lecture Capture

Lecture capture software allows instructors to record lecture audio and sync it with the on-screen display of their computer or laptop. Recording using a web camera is optional. Resulting videos are saved locally on the computer where they were recorded, and can be shared via a variety of applications such as U of T Libraries’ MyMedia service, Microsoft 365’s OneDrive, or other streaming services.

Lecture capture software can be used to record numerous types of content other than pure lecture, for example: lecturettes, assignment instructions, demonstrations, guest lectures, student presentations and many other possibilities.

At many institutions, lecture capture is regularly used in a variety of classrooms and at other educational events. For example, lecture capture can be used:

  • As an alternate means of delivering lectures to absent or ill instructors or students.
  • To transmit course content prior to class time so that in-person class sessions can be used for interactive activities and formative assessment.
  • To capture special events for later viewing (i.e., record a guest lecture for future classes in subsequent years to view).
  • For students to use as a review tool before tests and exams.

Lecture capture software at U of T is mostly intended to allow students an alternative means of access to course lectures. If you are interested in using lecture capture for other means, please book a consultation with CTSI.

Teaching and Technology: Usability Testing

While lecture capture can be used to capture lecture session and the display of a computer or laptop, Prof. Colin Furness at the Faculty of Information used lecture capture software to help students develop their collaboration skills while learning about performing usability testing for online systems. Students worked together to design tests, interpret results and reflect on the meaning of the system interactions they observed.

How Students Use Lecture Capture

In the context of student illnesses, the primary use of recorded lectures will be to allow students to view recordings of regular class sessions.

When lecture capture is used more broadly, students report using it primarily to review for tests or assignments. Students also say that recorded lectures make them less anxious about copying information during lectures, allowing them to focus on listening and identifying questions instead of taking comprehensive notes during class sessions.(1)

Potential Challenges & Caveats

Many instructors express concern that the availability of recorded lectures will lead students to attend class less frequently, which may inhibit opportunities for interaction between students and between students and instructors. If lecture capture is employed in a limited context such as in response to student illness, this may not be a concern, but could become a consideration if lecture capture is used frequently or widely.(2)

Intellectual Property & Privacy
While lecture content is the intellectual property of the instructor, the ability to easily duplicate, upload, and share digital copies of lectures may concern some faculty. Uploading lectures to YouTube and other video sites may also compromise your intellectual property. To ensure multimedia content is restricted to the University of Toronto community, using the U of T Libraries’ MyMedia service is recommended.

The incidental recording of students in a course may also raise privacy concerns. While TechSmith is unlikely to reveal students’ identity, other methods of lecture capture may require additional privacy safeguards. Please review the CTSI tip sheet on Audio & Video Recordings of Lectures and Class Sessions for additional information on maintaining you and your students’ privacy. This tip sheet also includes a sample syllabus statement to outline limitations on the reproduction and distribution of recorded lectures.

Additional Resources

Seven things you should know about lecture capture. From the Educause Learning Initiative. Available online at https://library.educause.edu/resources/2008/12/7-things-you-should-know-about-lecture-capture.

Teaching college math. Available online at http://teachingcollegemath.com/. The blog of a lecture capture devotee, with strategies and activities for and demonstrations of the use of lecture capture.

Please also note the resources identified in the footnotes below.

(1) See http://ccblog.typepad.com/weblog/2008/11/a-relatively-short-literature-review-of-lecture-capture-on-campus.html for additional information about student use of recorded lectures.

(2) While a number of studies claim that students in courses that employ lecture capture attend almost as frequently as students in courses without recorded lectures, many of the courses studied include those with additional incentives (e.g. interactive activities or participation grades) to attend regularly (http://ccblog.typepad.com/weblog/2008/11/a-relatively-short-literature-review-of-lecture-capture-on-campus.html) or have surveyed students in-class, not capturing those who attend less frequently. In another study, 40% of lecturers at an Australian university noted a 25% or greater decline in attendance (http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2007/timetable/files/1064/2007_AltC_Williams_Attendance.pdf)

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