10 Strategies for Engaging Learners with Lecture Capture


This document outlines 10 strategies for engaging learners with Lecture Capture. This is not a how-to document; we simply describe some of the types of activities and strategies that may be useful in your course.

What is Lecture Capture?

Lecture capture refers to the process of recording a lecture that the instructor will place on the Web to allow learners to watch online. This practice can be used in both face-to-face courses and, of course, in fully online classes.

Academic Technology Services (ATS) offers several Screen Capture/Lecture Capture tools to help you develop the following strategies in your own classes:

Enterprise Tools:

Staff Favorite Tools:

Learn more about these fully support tools, and other staff favorites here: Screen Capture/Lecture Capture

10 Strategies for Engaging Learners with Lecture Capture

Strategy #1: Build Social Presence

The basics:  Social presence is a measure of the feeling of community that a learner experiences in an online environment (Tu & McIsaac, 2002), and helps define how participants relate and interact with one another, which in turn affects their ability to communicate effectively. “ When online instructors and instructional designers develop online learning environments that enhance opportunities for social presence and cognitive absorption, online students will have a more positive attitude towards their online learning,” (Leong, 2011). This approach can help students feel more engaged with the instructor and other students.

Variations on the approach:  Instructors can create video lectures for their online course that feature their digital presence.  No longer do instructors have to opt for a disembodied voice over narrated PowerPoint slides.  Many of the aforementioned tools allow the instructor’s digital self to accompany lectures.

Additionally, to help build social presence and community amongst students, this same approach may be used by learners during introduction assignments, discussions, video reflections, or collaborative portions of the course.

Strategy #2:  Empower Students with Learner Controlled Lectures (Self-regulated learning with the help of online videos)

The basics: The result of research done by Nima Hejazifar (2012) supports the idea that student success in blended learning environments are mediated by academic self-regulatory skills. According to his research the use of web lectures improves students’ learning outcome, as learners control the pacing and location of learning.

Variations on the approach: Web Lectures made by any Lecture Capture software that is supported by Academic Technology Services will help learners to guide their own learning. The ability to replay the key portions of the lecture, make notes, and save for later review can be very beneficial. These tools allow instructors to include additional components such as closed captioning* to support learners with disabilities or ESL students.

*If you select a tool that does not have closed captioning built in, Academic Technology Services offers this service with a quick turn around.  For more Information, please view our information on Accessibility and Policy Support.

Strategy #3: Capture Complicated Computer Processes and Walkthroughs

The basics: Lecture Capture software allows instructors to video capture the working screen of the computer with audio recording. This allows instructors to make video tutorials explaining complicated processes or operational steps.  These types of tasks were previously only addressed by dense text documentation.

Variations on the approach: When considering an online course, according to Quality Matters’ standard 1, Course Overview and Introduction, it is recommended to include tasks and/or instructions that help students become familiar with how to get started in an online course. We may recommend the inclusion of a course ‘tour’ video where teachers give instructions about the various course components, course structure and purpose, and how to begin.

Lecture Capture software can also be used to give video instructions about basic software that learners need to know and use during the course, for example, a walkthrough of the use of a textbook publisher’s software for supplemental course materials. Even if the software mentioned is not a subject of the course, it may be integral to the completion of course assignments. Simple How-To videos can ease technical questions from students, while freeing up the instructor’s time for more important course tasks.

Strategy #4: Lecture from Anywhere

The basics: Certain Lecture Capture Software allows instructors to record right from their computer. This makes it possible to lecture from anywhere, anytime having only a single computer at hand.** Instructors can pre-record their lecture, publish it, and make it available in D2L for student viewing.

Variations on the approach: The use of modern laptops with built in microphone and camera make this strategy incredibly easy and flexible. Even for Face-to-Face classes, coursework and lectures do not have to halt while instructors attend conferences, or travel.

**Installed software and active internet connection, of course, will be required.

Strategy #5: Create Interactive Online Lectures (Lecture Segments with Mastery Checks)

The basics: Instructors create short-form lecture segments no longer than 15 minutes each. After each lecture segment, ask a series of questions using their LMS’s quizzing features to gauge student understanding.

Variations on the Strategy: Lecture Capture software makes working with distance learners much more dynamic. Instructors can pair Lecture Capture software with other ATS supported tools that allows students to follow up instructional videos with master checks, or formal quizzes.

Any of the listed eLearning tools listed here ,ChimeIn, or D2L will allow instructors to host videos in defined modules that are suited to facilitate student response or mastery checks. This is a comprehensive, albeit not complex, strategy that can have some interesting design implications. If you would like assistance developing this strategy, please contact ATS.

Strategy #6: Flip your Classroom

The basics: Lecture Capture technologies can assist you with a Blended Learning, or Flipped Instructional Strategy. The flipped approach with lecture capture use is examined in Day and Foley’s (2006) study where they suggest that offering web lectures that present lecture material before class, can allow more in-class time to be spent engaging students with hands-on learning activities.

Variations on the approach: Use any of Academic Technology Service’s supported Lecture Capture software to record lectures and upload it in D2L, giving learners access to lectures to watch it on their own time. Use classroom time to engage learners in active learning activities.  For a more detailed view of this approach, please see our Teaching Strategies: Blended and Flipped Instruction.

Strategy #7: Place Remediated Content Online

The basics:  Remediation is an opportunity to provide additional support to those students who still do not understand key concepts in spite of attempts to support them. Lecture Capture software can be used to record material for remediation outside the classroom. The remediated material can include key concepts from a lesson that are important for the next lesson or challenging parts with which students may struggle.

Variations on the approach: The remediated material can be uploaded to D2L content under a module the instructor chooses (perhaps, Frequently Asked Questions, or Additional Resources) where he/she can include questions which are the most challenging for learners and the answers to them. Overtime, these resources can be curated into a well-defined repository and transferred from one D2L course to the next as your remediated content grows.

Strategy #8: Create Virtual Conference Presentations

The basics: It is becoming more and more common that large and highly recognized educational organizations are offering virtual conferences in lieu of, or in addition to traditional conferences. As such, ATS supported lecture capture tools can be employed by faculty, staff, and/or students who may be presenting research at various virtual conferences.  If travel time and cost are a limiting factor, this may be a beneficial option to consider when deciding whether or not to present at a conference.

Strategy #9: Bring in External Expertise / Guest Speaker

The basics: Guest speakers who are experts in their field can enhance the educational experience of learners by adding engagement and expertise to the lesson already covered by the instructor. Instructors can host guest speakers for fully online classes, where there is no possibility to meet them in a traditional setting, and also for in class lectures to avoid obstacles with time, travel, and cost that may be associated with bringing in a guest speaker.

Strategy #10: Student Digital Presentation

The basics: It is important in an online environment that the student’s sense of community in a course is realized. As a suggestion, online Instructors  may require digital presentations about the work their students are doing. Students can use Lecture Capture tools to present their work by conducting such presentations.

Variations on the approach: Lecture Capture tools can also aid students as they coordinate presentations for collaborative group work.

Making It Happen

If you’re interested in employing one of these strategies but aren’t quite sure how to get started or need some assistance, please contact Michael Manderfeld, michael.manderfeld@mnsu.edu to arrange for a consultation.

Contribute Your Own Strategies

Do you have your own effective strategy for engaging learners that isn’t represented here? Let us know about it! Email your ideas to Michael Manderfeld, michael.manderfeld@mnsu.edu

On The Web


Tu, Ch., & McIsaac, M. (2002). The relationship of social presence and interaction in online classes. American Journal of Distance Education

Day, J., & Foley, J. (2006). Evaluating web lectures: a case study from HCI. Paper presented at the

Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Hejazifar , N. (2012). In Tanya Joosten (Chair). The impact of lecture webcasts and student self-regulated learning on academic outcomes. 2012 sloan-c blended learning conference and workshop: perfecting the blend, Milwaukee, WI.

Leong, P. (2011). Role of social presence and cognitive absorption in online learning environments. Distance Education, 32(1), 5-28. doi:10.1080/01587919.2011.565495

Mount, Chambers, Weaver, and Priestnall (2009). Learner immersion engagement in the 3D virtual world: principles emerging from the DELVE project. The Journal of British Educational Technology, (8)3, pp. 40 - 55.

Russell, Donna (2009). Cases on collaboration in virtual learning environments. IGI Global Publishing, Hershey, PA.



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