Having to miss class because of a doctor’s appointment or a family emergency can leave you out of the loop when it comes to class work. Being a mother of two, the unexpected can happen at any time, and my responsibility as a mother is priority. A lot of times I don’t have time to make friends in the classroom and have someone to get notes from; and I feel like if I do have someone to get notes from, it isn’t anywhere near the same as being in class. The Echo Capture feature of the course in my Anatomy class has been tremendously helpful. It is the next best thing to being in class. The power points are on display and you can hear the professor in real time with the slides. The downside however is you cannot see the laser pointer when he/she points out specific things on slides. Not to be dependent on mind you, because there are still technology glitches in the system, but it is a very nice back-up.
In my biology course, Dr. Bonner uses a video camera to record each class, as well as a voice recorder. He makes these available on Blackboard but has run into a few issues, such as there being a delay in making the videos available or the batteries running out. The students do their best to keep an eye on the recorder but it is hard at times because we are paying attention to Dr. Bonner.
Last semester, I started to get permission from the professors to record the lectures on my iPhone. This was a huge help even when I was in class. I could concentrate on copying the slides down and then I could play the recording on my phone to pick up any highlights my professor talked about that I didn’t get. I have been told by many people that in order for your brain to retain information you must hear it at least three times. Going to class accounted for one, hearing the lecture on my phone accounted for two, and going over it in study groups accounted for three. After the group studies I found a new understanding for the material and it was no longer memorization, it was understanding and applying that material.
My suggestion for those professors who are curious about the Class Capture, I encourage them to use it from a student point-of-view. It does not need to be relied on a hundred percent by students, but it can be very helpful when you don’t have control of your circumstances. I also suggest that students get permission from their professors to record their lectures, whether you have a smartphone with the option of a voice recorder or an actual voice recorder and play back the next day to write down the notes that you have missed, you will be quite amazed at the information that you can miss and not know.