Technology Upgrades Integrate Student Learning

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Technology Upgrades Integrate Student Learning

Brianna Radici

Brianna Radici

Brianna Radici

Brianna Radici

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By: Brianna Radici

Students and professors may find themselves being recorded in lectures this semester for all the right reasons.

This summer, Saint Louis University’s Information Technology Department installed Tegrity Lecture Capture Software and the accompanying recording hardware in over fifty classrooms in order to facilitate more efficient and effective teaching and learning methods.

Lecture Capture serves as a means to record not only the audio in the classroom but also the content shown on the instructor’s computer. Ten classrooms on campus also feature video recording capability that focuses on the instructor. Microphones have been installed in all of the Tegrity enabled classrooms to record the audio and make it available to students long after the lecture ends.

The recorded lectures are posted to the Tegrity server to be accessed by students and instructors at any time.  Not only are the lectures available on students’ laptops, but applications have been developed for the Apple iPhone, iPad and Android Devices as well.

Vidur Sharma, Information Technology Services Concerns Committee student representative, played an integral role in bringing Tegrity to SLU classrooms and believes that the software allows students to enhance their learning experience.

“Tegrity brings the classroom into the laptop of the student. Bringing Tegrity in, it changes the way professors teach and students take notes,” Sharma said.

Knowing that lectures are retrievable allows students to focus on interacting with the professor and adding to class discussions as opposed to jotting down every detail of the lecture.

“Being in classes, I know that students try to write every single thing down. Having that assurance that the lecture is available on line and you’re not lost forever, it allows for better notes and more accurate attention in class,” said Sharma.

What separates the Tegrity solution from other lecture capture systems is the interactive component available to students through their laptops and multimedia devices.

Students can access the recording live in the classroom and interact with the content presented to them, whether it is a web page or Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. Students can take screen snapshots of important slides, bookmark portions of the lecture, flag confusing material and take notes. Portions of the lecture flagged by students are available to the instructor to clarify which subjects may require more attention.

The notes taken by students while using the Tegrity software are searchable for quick reference to important lecture points. Any words presented during the lecture on the instructor’s screen are also searchable. Students can go back and watch the recordings on their own time while adding bookmarks and their own notes.

Instructors can use Tegrity to add to the learning experience beyond the classroom. The software can be accessed remotely by professors if they wish to add supplementary materials from their home.

A link to the Tegrity server is available on the SLUGlobal webpage for courses that employ the software, and Tegrity capability can be requested by instructors.

Associate Director of ITS-Enterprise Resources Kyle Collins oversaw the selection and implementation of the Tegrity software and believes that it holds great potential for adding to the learning experience.

“This is cutting-edge technology and a great addition to SLU classrooms,” Collins said.

Sharma and Collins worked closely with a Lecture Capture ad hoc committee to implement the software. Sharma, a senator emeritus in the Student Government Association, listened to student voices to ensure that their needs were met.

In the spring of 2011, four vendors came in to promote their lecture capture solutions before selecting Tegrity as the first choice for the SLU community. The relevant hardware and software were installed this past summer, and according to Collins, the process went smoothly. Instructors were invited to learn how to use Tegrity shortly before the 2011-12 academic year began.

Sharma states that students have been using the software frequently. Through the summer and first two weeks of the semester, there have been nearly 13,400 views on the SLU Tegrity server, according to Sharma.

Junior Health Sciences student Danny Fleming is one of the students who has been utilizing the software extensively and reaping the rewards.

“It’s great in a lot of situations. It’s comforting to know that if I’m sick and miss class, I won’t get behind,” Fleming said. “It’s also a great feature to have since they have an application available for the iPhone, which benefits a lot of students.”