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VStream: Why today's students like recorded lectures

Students often value flexibility to enable them to study while managing their work and family commitments. This need for flexibility reflects widened access to tertiary study and is being demanded as a service, due to the increasing cost of higher education through student fees. Providing easy access to lecture recordings to those who cannot attend lectures is one way to address students’ needs for flexibility and has been one of the key drivers in the uptake of lecture capture technology. The availability of lecture recordings provides students with choices in how they access lecture content and how they use that content to support their learning

Key points

  • Student attitudes to learning are very different from thirty years ago
  • Students are expecting flexibility and choice in the way they learn and believe that their course fees pay for this right to exercise choice about where, when and even how they will learn
  • One study reported that 78% of students found that work impacted on their study, and 40% felt that their university did not cater well for students in paid employment
  • Educators throughout higher education are noting that the ability to shift to digital delivery methods is changing learner expectations and choices about lecture attendance
  • The ability to improve student successes and learning outcomes and increase student retention are the most cited reasons for adopting lecture capture solutions, and they reflect the pressures faced by universities to attract and retain students, while accommodating their demand for flexible learning opportunities

Also consider...

  • A relatively large proportion of university students are mature-aged and have family and work commitments that prevent them coming to a campus to attend lectures at often inconvenient times
  • Students have different styles of learning and one mode (face-to-face lectures) does not suit all
  • While some students may benefit enormously from the classroom experience, others may prefer to work through material in the privacy of their own home
  • The vast majority of students still prefer the traditional lecture experience but this is dependent on resolving timetabling clashes and juggling family and work commitments
  • There is no point trying to force students to attend lectures (e.g. by awarding grades for attendance) if they do not benefit from them

Acknowledgements and sources


Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Centre (2012). Making the Most of Lectures Through Echo 360: Staff Guide. Retrieved from

Other sources

Ehlers, K. (2010). Lecture Capturing Utilising Enhanced Podcasts 2010 ISECON Proceedings 27(1387). Retrieved from

Gosper, M., Green, D., McNeill, M., Philips, R., Preston, G., & Woo, K. (2008). The Impact of Web-Based Lecture Technologies on Current and Future Practices in Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from

Greenberg, A. D., & H., N. A. (2009). The New Imperative for Lecture Capture Systems in Higher Education: How Competition, Affordability, and Business Benefits are Driving Adoption. Wainhouse Research White Paper. Retrieved from

Massingham, P., & Herrington, T. (2006). Does Attendance Matter? An Examination of Student Attitudes, Participation, Performance and Attendance. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 3(2). Retrieved from

Credit and Acknowledgement