When I first enrolled at this university I thought it would cutting edge at the top of its game in regards to technology. I have fast come to learn over my last three years of my degree that this is not the case. When you talk to students at UTS they all let out an exasperated ‘God yes why don’t we have lecture recordings?’ and when you talk to your friends up the road at the sandstone University of Sydney they all gleefully tell you about their lectures being recorded.
So why do students need lectures to be recorded?
At it currently stands there are only two lecture theatres in the entire university that are fitted out with lecture recording equipment in a permanent capacity. Lecturers can request to have lectures recorded in other lecture theatres at the university on a case by case basis. Students with accessibility needs who meet university requirements are eligible to have their lectures recorded but that does guarantee all lectures are recorded for the individual student depending on the accessibility requirements.
So where does this leave students, who work? Students who live far from uni? Students who struggle with their mental health, stress or anxiety? Students for whom English is their second language? Or students who want lectures recorded so they can revise?
Let me lay out for you (and university management) why we need lecture recordings.
1. Lecture recordings are important for students with mental health issues and accessibility requirements.
Young people have the highest rates of mental health issues, this includes those who attend university. Not all students know of or utilise accessibility services at university. Many students at university who are suffering through mental health issues don’t reach out or discuss their mental issues with uni admin or health services. Lecture recording provide students with mental health issues, be it a one-off event or a re-occurring issue the opportunity to watch lectures from home at a time when they feel they can manage it.
2. Lecture recordings help students revise for assignments and exams.
Being able to play back your lecture helps you understand a lot of the nuance and complexity of the lecture content, content which may not be clear just from the lecture slides. Lecture recordings help students make detailed notes and allows them to refer back to content from previous weeks for revision.
3. Lecture recordings help students for whom English is their second language.
The ability to be able to listen back to lectures allows students for whom English is their second language to absorb and revisit content they may have missed in the lecture. The same can be said for native English speakers for that fact.
4. Lecture recordings support students who work.
Gone are the days when students can get by, study a full workload, have job security, live off youth allowance and cover the cost of living. More and more students are needing to work and study to survive. Universities must be accommodating of this. I’m sure many of us have been there, you tell your boss the days you can work and they roster you on a day you have uni. What do you do? Go to uni? Risk losing your job as a casual employee? Lecture recordings provide people who need to work with a safety net. The same goes for post graduate students the vast majority of whom work and study.
5. Lecture recordings support students who live far away from uni.
Many students travel from the Blue Mountains, Wollongong or the Central Coast, or just live an hour or more away from uni. Imagine you have a lecture starting at 9am and you finished uni at 9pm the night before. Late nights on the train home and early mornings getting up and going lectures is a reality for many at this university. But it shouldn’t be, students who live further away from campus shouldn’t have to be getting up at 5am to get to a 9am lecture.
I would now like to ask UTS a question.
Given that the University of Sydney, UNSW, University of Western Sydney, Macquarie and Notre Dame all record the majority of lectures.
So why does UTS record so few lectures for students?
UTS Education Vice President,
and Third Year Communications student- who in three years has only one lecture recorded.