College students are busy. Between getting sick, managing a packed schedule or running into traffic while traveling between campuses, it is challenging to juggle numerous commitments without missing an obligation here and there. Chances are students will be late or miss class at least once during their four-year career.
It may seem like aside from a time machine, the only remedy for catching up after a missed class is to borrow scribbled notes from a classmate – but GW already has a solution.
Lecture Capture allows students to review missed courses or tune in to a lecture remotely in more than 90 classrooms across 18 buildings. The basic version allows professors to share recorded audio that syncs with presentation materials, and some classrooms are also equipped with cameras to record video of the entire lecture hall. This technology already exists, but more professors should utilize the tool because it will save them time while helping their students get a better education.
While not all classrooms have this capability, many lecture halls in Funger Hall and Duques Hall have this technology readily available. Hundreds if not thousands of students have class in one of these spaces alone each semester, but many professors do not enable the technology. This academic year, I had three classes in rooms that offered the service, but none of my professors opted to use the system.
But if my professors did add this setting to their Blackboard page, I could watch past lectures that I missed or rewatch class sessions to get a better understanding of the course material.
Students would greatly benefit from being able to watch classes from any location and refer back to individual sessions when studying for exams and writing papers.
There is also a feature where professors can stream their lecture online so viewers can watch from anywhere if they can’t make it to class.
While the service has clear benefits for students, it makes professors’ lives easier, too. Enabling Lecture Capture would surely cut down on emails from students asking what they missed in class, and professors could use office hours more productively because students could review material before visiting.
Some professors may fear that this academic privilege may enable students to skip class, but that would be abusing the intended purpose. Students will skip class regardless of whether this technology is in use, so professors should instead use it so students have a safety net and review tool.
Technology can greatly enhance the learning experience, and professors should always look to employ services that will help students learn. GW has already given professors the means to expand their influence on students beyond class hours by using Lecture Capture to record their classes, so more professors should utilize it.
Liam Studer, a freshman, is a Hatchet opinions writer.
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