All scheduled lectures delivered at UNSW Lecture Recordingsenabled venues are recorded automatically, unless the instructor has opted out of recordings.

The instructor generally posts links to these recordings in the corresponding Moodle course. Study tools such as Bookmarks and Notes that are used during the lecture can be accessed via the same link. 

Most large teaching spaces are UNSW Lecture Recordings+ enabled. You can check if a venue has this facility at UNSW Lecture Recordings enabled venues

To see if it has other facilities, check the Learning Environments - Spaces website.

The purpose of recordings...

...and why lectures are better educationally

Recordings are not meant to replace lecture attendance. The university provides them to make it easy for students to replay, review and reinforce the content and to help students who occasionally cannot attend because of illness or other constraints.

Even though your lecturers may have made lecture recordings available, they usually expect you to be physically present at lectures unless you are a distance learning student. There are sound educational reasons for this, for example:

  • The lecture contains physical demonstrations, copyright materials, videos, annotations on slides or other multimedia materials that cannot be made available on recordings.
  • The lecture incorporates problem solving in small groups, discussions or other interactions that are difficult to capture in a recording.
  • The content of the lecture is needed for a follow-on tutorial, practical session or similar.
  • The lecturer may include interactive activities such as multiple-choice quizzes that require real-time participation to gain the full benefit of the activity.
  • The lecture is used to get to know you, gauge your progress, identify problems you are encountering and give you immediate feedback.

Advantages of attending lectures

Collegiality and establishing a routine are both important

When deciding whether to attend or not, think about the educational advantages. Also think about:

  • Social advantages—You get to meet others in your course, exchange ideas and establish new friendships.
  • Convenience—Attending lectures in a regular timeslot can help you establish a routine for study. Some students are not able to view/listen to recordings when they don’t have an established routine.
  • Study tools—Make the most out of the study tools by using them during your lectures. The Discussions panel can be a great way to get your questions answered without disrupting the class.
  • Just ask—If you have the option of attending or not, and are unsure of what you should do, ask your lecturer why you need to attend and what will you be missing if you don’t.
  • Why not do both? This is not an either/or decision. Attending lectures and using lecture recordings as a study tool can help to maximise your learning.

How to maximise your learning using Lecture Recordings

For revision, catch-up, convenience and staying in touch

If you are attending lectures, you can still use recordings to support your learning in various ways. You can browse through an entire lecture or choose particular segments to:

  • revise for exams
  • revisit complex ideas and concepts
  • work at your own pace and place of convenience
  • pick up information that you missed in class
  • concentrate during the lecture in class, then go back and take comprehensive notes afterwards
  • check what was said before approaching your lecturer for clarification of issues, ideas or misunderstandings.

You can use the study tools such as the bookmarks to help you find particularly important sections you want to revise and reconsider. 

If you can’t attend lectures, it’s good practice to:

  • establish a weekly routine for listening to the lectures
  • listen to the entire recording at least once, stopping, bookmarking, taking notes and reviewing as required
  • make sure you are familiar with the content by asking and answering questions in the Discussions panel

If you are studying off campus, UNSW Lecture Recordings+ can help you feel part of the group and provide you with different ways to communicate with your lecturer and peers in the class.

  • You can feel part of the class by answering the lecturer’s questions even if you’re not physically present.
  • You can discuss issues raised in the lecture on the online discussion forum or the Discussions panel.
Beware: It’s easy to fall behind and hard to catch up. It is not a good idea to listen to several weeks of lectures at a time. The lecture is usually only one aspect of the entire course. Other learning activities often depend on an understanding of the lecture content. Try not to fall behind with the lectures, or you will place the rest of your learning at risk.

This guide is adapted from “Making the most of lectures through Echo 360: Student Guide”. Accessed 25 November 2013.

Support for the original work was provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (formerly known as the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Ltd), an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, closed down in 2011.

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