Lectures Online is based on lecture capture technology from Echo360. This service is capable of recording the audio and projected images of classroom presentations for  students to review later. The recordings are scheduled in advance, so the system automatically starts before the class begins and stops when the class period is over. The only steps the instructor needs to take  to use it are: 1) sign up, 2) at the start of class, put on and use the room mic, and 3) use the classroom projection system.  When completed, a web page for the lecture is produced and placed on a the streaming media server for access through the learning management system (Canvas and Blackboard.)

Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) conducted an extensive four and a half year pilot of the system in five classrooms on campus.  Because of the successful pilot, the technology was expanded to 14 rooms Spring 2014 and plan to add 15 additional rooms for Fall 2014.

Students who wish to view the lectures may pay a $20 instructional materials charge via an online store, which will offset costs associated with the service.

Help is available to instructors to determine the best use of the technology in conducting their class. Email lecturesonline@la.utexas.edu.

Help is also available to students in gaining access to lectures online for their classes which use the service. Email lecturesonlinehelp@la.utexas.edu.

On this website, students can find answers to the most common issues related to Echo360 as well as system requirements but what might be most useful for them is the information provided on the page “Known issues with recordings.” This is where they can locate a list of issues with any of the captured recordings for their class. Most of these problems are due to issues with the in room microphone (such as dead batteries). This knowledge should help decrease the amount of frustration students might feel the night before a test when they cannot hear the audio from a presentation. If their problem is not answered in the FAQ or listed on the “Known issues with recordings” page, they can also submit a help request via email (lecturesonlinehelp@la.utexas.edu).

The “Instructors” section gives a detailed description of how the Echo360 Lecture Capture system works as well as explains what is required of a instructor to use the system. It also provides instructors with the results gathered from the Center for Teaching & Learning’s end of the semester survey of students and professors conducted during the pilot project.

For those in the technology and administrative word, the “IT” section gives a detailed explanation on why LAITS went with Echo360 for our trial as well as more technical information on the setup of the system from classroom to server to end user. Included is a very detailed breakdown of the 2011 Spring student survey results broken out by gender, school year, expected grade in course, current GPA and major.