The lecture capture system, ReCap, is popular among Russell Group universities. Here, at Newcastle, ReCap is provided across the majority of lectures, though (and perhaps controversially) staff have the option to cancel recordings at their discretion. This ‘opt-out’ policy is the source of much debate.
At first glance, ReCap is immensely useful. An amazing revision tool and especially for auditory learners, it can be used at any time and any place. Recap is also a lifeline for students with disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health issues that prevent consistent attendance, allowing students to catch up on any content they may have missed. In fact, in a recent study, 85% of students with disabilities use the system frequently as a revision resource.
Keeping this in mind, the fact that lecturers can pull the plug on Recap recordings without any notice appears unfair on those who can’t attend for genuine reasons or struggle to maintain the high levels of concentration required for long days on campus. After all, life is messy. You never know what it might throw at you.
Despite this, we all seem to know someone who sacks off their lectures for an extra hour in bed. In my opinion, the people who take advantage of ReCap do merit concerns about overall lecture attendance. This trivial use of lecture recordings can be interpreted as a slight or disrespect to lecturers whose job it is to be there in person to provide the course content. Additionally, ReCap’s use raises issues surrounding intellectual property rights. As at the end of the day, the study material does belong to your lecturer.
With only 67% of the students surveyed satisfied with ReCap, there is definitely more to be done to improve the service. Occasionally, there are no recordings provided during crucial weeks and sometimes the recordings have poor quality audio. Ultimately, ReCap should be considered a necessity for those who strongly rely on it and a complementary tool for those who might not.
Featured Image: Newcastle University
Last modified: 6th November 2019