is an easy way to attract students to your program: Don’t make them go to
class. For nearly a decade, the University
of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD)
has captured all of its faculty’s lectures on video and has made them available
to students 24 hours a day via an online portal.
can view the content when needed, allowing them to learn at their own pace and
create a schedule that adjusts to the demands of their busy lifestyles. In a
recent survey, 92% of students reported that they liked the fact that there was
no attendance requirement for such classes, and 96% said the video content made
it easier to learn the material.
of UMSOD’s lecture halls is equipped with three-chip cameras in the front and
back of the room. Each room also has a smart podium that includes tablet
controls and a headset microphone, along with annotation features to highlight
specific items in the course material. Students can attend classes in person (which
is mandatory when a guest speaker is lecturing), stream lectures live from an
Internet-connected computer or simply watch a lecture at a later time.
has found that most students watch the videos a few days after the lecture
occurs. Although the times vary, lectures are viewed primarily during evening
hours. They have also found that offering video lectures helps to recruit
students (69% of students said the option attracted them to the school) and
helps to retain them once they’re enrolled. In total, the videos have been
viewed nearly 1 million times.
the first day a student is officially enrolled at UMSOD, he or she receives
access to the entire library of captured lectures, from introductory science
classes to more complex classes offered typically to second-, third- and
fourth-year dental students. The library includes four years’ worth of
lectures, although most students will seek out the most recent lecture on a
topic when reviewing material. By allowing students access to the videos at any
time, they are empowered to take greater control of their educational
lecturers leave an indelible impression on students’ coursework. Ninety-four
percent expressed interest in retaining access to the videos and materials
after graduation, to refresh themselves on specific content and lessons as
needed and to stay connected to the school.
are not the only beneficiaries of UMSOD’s video program. Professors who find
they cannot teach a certain day’s class in person can record the lecture and
post it online for students to watch when they are ready. Professors can also
review the footage themselves to see where they might improve in their
delivery, or determine whether they are missing a crucial part of the lesson.
road to becoming a dentist, of course, must include hands-on education as well.
Students take lessons in a facility that simulates what the practice of
dentistry will be like once they begin their general practice work.
lecturers can record demonstrations of their classwork and have it played at
each student’s station. The professor can then walk through the class,
providing more detailed instruction or fixing student mistakes.
the greatest hurdle is setting an attendance policy in which class attendance is
not mandatory. It’s also important to communicate the value of a video program
to staff, who are likely accustomed to teaching a roomful of students and may
be shocked at first to deliver a lecture before just a few. Promoting the
benefits to them is key to starting a great lecture capture program.
Adapted from an article by James Craig, M.S., Ed.D., that
appeared in EdTech. Dr. Craig is a Professor in UMSOD’s Division of Dental
Public Health and a consultant in the use of educational technology.
Published on August 12, 2015.