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Lectures and seminars

Expert guidance from Study Advice at the University of Reading

What is classroom capture?

You may find the some of your face-to-face sessions will be recorded – in a format known as classroom capture. This will form part of the Learning Capture that you will have access to as a student – which also includes pre-recorded content, like screencasts, talking heads or demonstration videos.

  Classroom Capture – recording of classes attended by students, such as lecture and seminars. Screencasts – videos consisting of powerpoints with voiceovers recorded by lecturers, often to explain difficult concepts. Talking Heads - informal videos in which lecturers record themselves speaking to the camera, often used to introduce a new module, or provide general feedback. Demonstration videos - recording of practical sessions like lab experiments or handling artefacts







Not all classroom sessions will be recorded, and some tutors may choose to record only parts of a session. Your tutors may choose to record the 'content' part of a session, but not the interactive elements, for example. These recordings are intended as a supplementary resource that can be used to support your understanding or as a revision aid. You are not expected to review the content if you have attended sessions and are confident with what was covered.     

The University learning capture system will be provided by Yuja. You will be able to access these classroom recordings, along with other video resources, through your module within Blackboard.

When and how to use these recordings

You should be attending all your taught sessions. Attending your taught sessions and engaging in the activities and discussions will deepen your understanding of your subject. These classroom recordings are not a replacement for lectures and should not be seen as such.  

You could though revisit the recorded material to supplement your learning. You might find that they are helpful for the following reasons:  

  • Add to notes 

Knowing that a session is being recorded can mean that you can concentrate more on what is being said and worry less about the notes you make. It is however not advisable that you watch the entire video again. Remember the intention of note making is to take down key pieces of information, not everything that is said.  

Before you begin, check the notes you already have and identify the areas you missed or didn’t understand. Re-watch these specific sections, not the whole thing, and add to your notes. Try to do this as soon as possible after the session, so ideas are still fresh in your mind. 

  • Review difficult concepts 

You may wish to review some concepts that you found challenging. It would be helpful if you took a note down of the slide or time you are at within the session – you can the forward the recording to this specific section and only watch this bit again. Yuja also has a search facility. You can search the transcript for keywords and it will take you to this section of the video. Making use of this function will save you time and ensure your studying is more effective. 

  • Revision aid 

When revising for your exams, or preparing for an assignment, you may wish to go back through the recording and refresh your memory of the key concepts and ideas that were discussed. It is not recommended that you stop and pause the recording and jot down everything that is said, instead use this as a way of listening out for key principles that may be useful for assignments. Some students like to change the speed and choose to watch this at a slightly faster pace. This can save you time, but you need to be alert to any key ideas that are covered. As with all revision, this is best done as an ongoing activity; so, make this a weekly task instead of trying to watch all videos a week or two before an exam.    

  • As a back-up if you were unable to attend a class 

As mentioned, classroom capture is not intended as a replacement for attending the session. Remember that not all sessions will be recorded, and your tutor may pause the recording, so by not attending you will be missing out on vital interactions which deepen your learning. However, you might find that occasionally you are unable to attend a class due to ill health, for example. In this case you could use the recording to supplement your reading and class materials. 

In this instance, you should watch the video as if you attended. Prepare in advance, as you would for a session by doing the recommended reading and ensure you have the slides to hand (if they are provided). You should decide in advance how you would like to make notes (online within the slides or by hand). Try not to pause the video and remember you need to take down key ideas not every word your tutor says.  

For more advice on making notes from recorded material see our Taking notes from videos guide or watch our short video on Taking notes from videos 

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Taking notes from videos video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Tips for using recordings effectively

  1. Know the purpose. Why are you watching the recording? Do you have specific questions you are looking for answers to? Follow the advice above depending on why you have chosen to watch the video. 
  2. Be prepared. Make sure you have the slides, have done any preparatory reading and have any equipment your need to make effective notes. 
  3. Use the functions on Yuja. You can search for keywords in captions to find a section of a video more quickly 
  4. Use as a regular part of your study, re-watching parts of the session, if need be, as soon as possible. Do not be tempted to ‘binge watch’ these as an aid for revision 
  5. Make active notes. Do not take down everything that is said but instead think how you might use the information and what key points you need. For more information watch this short video on Critical Note taking