Quality Assurance Agency Scotland: Enhancement Themes Collaborative Cluster

  • MacKay, Jill (Principal Investigator)
  • Nordmann, Emily (Co-investigator)
  • Hutchison, Jacqui (Co-investigator)

Project Details


Our proposed project aims to develop best practice guidelines for supporting widening participation students with lecture capture. Ongoing research at the proposed cluster institutions has provided some evidence already that lecture recordings might be supporting widening participation by allowing students greater flexibility due to competing demands of paid work, childcare, and physical and mental health conditions. Widening access students may have very diverse pathways to higher education including care backgrounds, being black & minority ethnic (BME) and with a range of declared disabilities (Scottish Funding Council, 2018). Additionally, they often have to travel further (Kenyon, 2011) and O’Brien and Verma (2018) have established a link between recording usage and commuting times.

More generally, the UCISA 2018 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) has identified lecture capture as part of a common core set of institutional TEL services and across the UK 59% of responding HEIs reported having a lecture capture policy. Therefore, whilst there will be a minimum two institutions actively engaged in the cluster, the output from is of direct benefit across the sector given increasing demand for and adoption of lecture capture.

The aim of the cluster is to develop best practice guidelines for how institutions can use lecture capture to support widening access and how students themselves can use it to support their entry into and journey through higher education. For example, there are anecdotal reports of providing 1st and 2nd year recordings to 2nd and 3rd year direct entry students to allow them to recap the material they were not present for but this is not yet a standard across the sector. Additionally, widening access students are more likely to have had poorer achievement in secondary school and less opportunity to develop effective learning strategies (Chowdry et al., 2013) and therefore may not capitalise on the pedagogic benefits that lecture capture can afford such as using it to develop their note-taking skills.

Whilst not every Scottish HEI currently has widespread use of lecture capture technology, all institutions have committed to working towards widening access and all are bound by the Equality Act (2010) to support students with learning disabilities and physical and mental health conditions. Although not a universal panacea, lecture capture is increasingly seen as a cost-effective solution for supporting students particularly in a climate of funding cuts for services such as note-takers.

Our institutions have individually explored how lecture recording can support students, and have touched on retention and widening participation. Creating a collaborative cluster around these issues would enable us to
a) Focus on the diverse student perspectives within the widening participation framework outlined in Scottish Government policy
b) Better understand how inclusivity and retention can be supported through mainstreaming access to digital resources
c) Consolidate institutional work into sector-level guidance

Scottish Government policy aims to have 20% of students entering university to be from Scotland’s 20% most deprived backgrounds by 2030. These students can be supported through better management of the transition into higher education, promoting a sense of inclusion and belonging within higher education, and respecting their individual learning profiles. Individually, our institutions have identified ways in which lecture recordings can support students from diverse backgrounds. Edinburgh’s Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme projects have explored how lecture recording can promote an inclusive learning environment (Knox & Wang, 2018) through making lectures more accessible, and the internal evaluation of the lecture recording roll-out highlighted how students with caring responsibilities and learning adjustments make greater use of recorded materials (MacKay, 2018). Nordmann et al’s (2018) work has provided practical recommendations for the use of lecture capture that can be used to target the specific issues faced by widening access students.

In this cluster we will use sector-wide workshops with student participation, and incorporate each institution’s current investigations to explore how lecture recordings can be used to promote inclusivity, support transitions, and support the development of study skills specifically within (although not exclusive to) widening participation students. We will develop guidance for when and how recordings can be used to support these students at a sector level.

We intend to produce a range of Creative Commons licensed outputs for sector-wide usage, including:
- Resources for students before they arrive, for example, what is a lecture, how to take notes, how to use the recordings to help this process. These resources will be promoted to high schools and colleges and science festivals where WP students originate.
- Resources for educators including pamphlets and media on how to incorporate a range of resources in supporting students from widening participation backgrounds.

Chowdry, H., Crawford, C., Dearden, L., Goodman, A., & Vignoles, A. (2013). Widening Participation in Higher Education: analysis using linked administrative data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 176(2), 431–457. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-08-101921-4.00008-7
Knox, J., & Wang, Y. (2018). Mini-series: Inclusive education and lecture recording – Teaching Matters blog. Retrieved May 2, 2019, from http://www.teaching-matters-blog.ed.ac.uk/inclusive-education-and-lecture-recording/
Kenyon, S. (2011). Transport and social exclusion: access to higher education in the UK policy context. Journal of Transport Geography, 19(4), 763–771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2010.09.005
MacKay, J. R. D. (2018). The Value of Lecture Recording at the University of Edinburgh. Interim Evaluation Report. Retrieved from https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/report_lecreced.pdf
Nordmann, E., Kuepper-Tetzel, C. E., Robson, L., Phillipson, S., Lipan, G., & Mcgeorge, P. (2018, December 11). Lecture capture: Practical recommendations for students and lecturers. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/sd7u4
Scottish Funding Council. (2018). Scottish Funding Council Report on Widening Access 2016-17.
Walker, R., Voce, J., Jenkins, M., Barrand, M., Hollinshead, L., Craik, A., Latif, F., Sherman, S., & Brown, V. (2018). 2018 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning for Higher Education in the UK. UCISA.

Short titleQAA Collaborative Cluster
Effective start/end date1/09/1919/06/20


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