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Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


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Project introduction and background information

PhD research into the use of recorded lectures by students and how we can facilitate effective use.

  • How do students use recorded lectures according to their self-report?
  • What actual usage of the recorded lectures can we derive from the data on the system, and does that match with what students report?
  • How can we facilitate the use of recorded lectures by students using expert tagging and tagging by the students themselves?

Ever since the start of the information and communication technology (ICT) era, universities and educational institutions all over the world have strived to incorporate its use into their pallet of instructional methods. The use of video, be it in the form of television broadcasts, DVDs or as video over the internet, has long been one of the important manifestations of the search for attractive learning materials that can be used independent of time and place.

The recording and broadcasting of lectures has been an important solution for distance education. But more and more, universities enhance parts of their courses aimed at on-campus students with online video components and lecture recordings. They do this to allow students to review lectures at their own pace and at a time and place of their choosing. With this increase in use, the main research question for this PhD research became increasingly more relevant:

Objective and expected outcomes

How do students use recorded lectures and how can we facilitate effective use?

The research was conducted at two of institutions in the higher education sector in the Netherland, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

There is previous research into this question, but studies show various shortcomings, such as lack of focus, meaning that the uses, technology and user groups were combined in a way that made it difficult to apply the results to our own situation. To establish some common ground, the dissertation starts with a description of a framework that more accurately determines the context of the research.

The main question raised a number of subsidiary questions: 

The use of recorded lectures by students at the two institutions was studied using a survey and semi-structured interviews. Then the data collected by the Lecture Capture System was taken and processed into a dataset that allowed us to analyse the actual usage of the recorded lectures by the students. That data was then triangulated with the data from the survey and the semi-structured interviews.

We also looked at improving the navigational support of the use of recorded lectures by offering tags that could be used to directly access specific parts of the recorded lecture. We investigated both the use of expert tagging and of tags created by the students themselves.

More details about the main conclusions are available in the dissertation and have been presented during the public defense.

Practical outcomes

Read the entire thesis online

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