Subhes Bhattacharyya teaches Sustainable Development as part of the Energy and Sustainable Development Subject Group at De Montfort University.
This Subject Group has traditionally pioneered Distance Learning through the use of online materials and a database for communicating with Distance Learners.
Subhes teaches in semester one only and over the summer of 2013 Subhes approached the ELT Project Officer with regard to offering captured lecture content to complement the existing online learning materials.
A discussion took place that identified Subhes’ teaching styles and it was decided that the Panopto lecture capture system coupled with the AV facilities in the classroom would be an appropriate use of technology to capture Subhes’ classes during the first semester.
Subhes uses slides that are projected on screen in class along with the whiteboard and he also shows creative commons licensed videos at the end of class to affirm. Panopto was the choice of platform for this project as it can simultaneously capture slides, screen and (in this case) a video feed from the classroom’s HD camera.
A tutorial was given regarding delivering whilst recording using Panopto and with the absolute minimal support, Subhes has captured an entire semester and made these available online each week, within a couple of hours, via the Virtual Learning Environment.
Subhes found the software and hardware easy to use and intuitive whilst being non-intrusive in the classroom.
Six students have volunteered feedback regarding the captured content and all have been positive. A couple of points to note are that one student was required to install a free browser plugin for Safari on Mac OS and a second student mentioned that on a slow internet connection that buffering did occur. However, these were the only negative points raised and with recent upgrades to the Panopto software that is used at DMU, the buffering issue should be a thing of the past.
Some students did say that although the captures are great and the way that Panopto presents these online is intuitive, they would also appreciate a more traditional, downloadable version for watching offline as well. This links to Subhes’ original aim to provide a suite of different ways to engage with the curriculum as captured content is not a replacement for other online materials but more so a complementary and diverse mix of content that is available quickly is what the students want and value.
Going forward, Subhes is keen to look into other ways in which his classroom activity can be captured and in September 2014 he will start to capture the classroom’s visualiser alongside the screen and slides as Subhes wants to use this technology as an electronic whiteboard rather than pointing the camera at the dry wipe board.
For more advice and guidance in the area of lecture capture, try the Multimedia Production Pathway.