Lecture Capture Tools

By IGI Global on Jun 24, 2011
IGI Global would like to thank Shalin Hai-Jew for contributing this article outlining how faculty can use lecture capture tools to enhance their online instruction. Dr. Hai-Jew's newest publication, Constructing Self-Discovery Learning Spaces Online: Scaffolding and Decision Making Technologies, will become available this Winter. An excellent resource for any library, her edited research volume, Virtual Immersive and 3D Learning Spaces: Emerging Technologies and Trends, is currently available in the IGI Global Bookstore.

For faculty moving their face-to-face courses into online realms, many find that they can bring their lecturing skills with them. Faculty do not only tap into video capture technologies—many of which are built into "smart" computerized classrooms—but they also are using a range of screen capture technologies that allow them to convey information in a multi-sensory way from their desks.

The Capture Sequence

The lecture capture sequence from the desktop may be understood as two different types. One type involves the capture of a live event with two or more participants. The other event involves the pre-recording of lecture materials, which may be presentations, demonstrations, simulations, or other types of lectures.

The Typical Desktop Lecture Capture Sequence: Live vs. Pre-Recorded

The Equipment Needed

The typical equipment necessary for this is pretty basic. Generally, instructors just need a fairly recent PC or Mac, quality headsets with microphones (unless you prefer to use the built-in microphones and headsets), and a webcam (unless you want to use your own built-in digital cameras).

Integrated Software Systems

There is a range of lecture-capture software that works on screen captures. Some of these are commercial; others are open-source. Some work on the PC platform while others work on the Mac. One even works cross-platform. Some software companies offer constrained freeware versions of their software and even include server hosting of the contents.

These software programs have fairly seamless interfaces that connect well with slideshow technologies.

These captures may showcase software. They may be used to navigate websites in a smooth-motion way. Webcam headshots may be captured. Videos may be captured with full-motion capturing (albeit in a limited way often because of limitations on the rendering).

Furthermore, these programs offer rich editing methods of the visual, the sound, and even the motion experiences. These also often ways to annotate the navigation, add captions to still imagery, and add textual transcription or captioning for videos. These technologies also enable instructor communications via multiple information streams.

Help Files

Lecture capture technologies may be used to offer opt-in automated learning. For example, various software programs use automated motion-based tutorials to train users in the use of various types of software. Lecture capture may be used to show steps in a process, with users able to stop the resulting video and replay it at any point. Many faculty use a webcam head shot to humanize themselves to learners.

More Complicated Captures

More complicated captures (interviews, group learning, panel discussions, simulations, and skits) will require higher-end technologies such as digital camcorders, mics, professional lighting and reflective screens, and other setups. However, for the basic lecture captures described here, there are a half-dozen very solid software programs that enable captures of visuals from the screen and audio through the computer mic.

Dr. Shalin Hai-Jew works as an instructional designer at Kansas State University (K-State); she teaches for WashingtonOnline (WAOL).

IGI Global offers a wide range of reference materials for faculty members looking to integrate multimedia into their courses or to begin blending their face-to-face instruction with mobile technologies and other virtual elements. To learn more about any of these titles, please click on the links below:

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