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Digital skills

Lecture recordings for study

During your time at Leeds you may find that some of your lectures are recorded and made available for you to watch; this is known as lecture capture. Recorded lectures are not a replacement for attending lectures in person, but they can help you to make the most of face-to-face class time.

You can use recorded lectures to:

  • revisit and review a difficult topic or concept you might not have understood fully within the lecture
  • feel confident that you can freely listen to everything said in a lecture and just make notes of key points, knowing that you can revisit the content later
  • introduce yourself to a topic ahead of a lecture or seminar (these short clips are called personal capture)
  • revise for exams and prepare for assignments
  • help with language difficulties if English is not your first language, or if you want to benefit from hearing specific sections of the lecture again to understand terminology.

Medical Sciences student, Samwise, describes how recorded lectures have changed his approach to lectures, note taking and revision.

Watch this short video for more details on how lecture capture works.

Using lecture recordings for note making

Making notes from lectures helps to strengthen your learning. It clarifies your thinking; checks that you've understood what was being said; and helps you to organise your ideas. You can use lecture notes to plan for assignments or revise for exams.

Whilst scribbling or typing in lectures, students sometimes find that they have missed a key fact, definition or concept for their notes. Lecture capture recordings can remove that distraction and free up time to think about your own response to the material, and to what your lecturer is saying about it.

One way to use lecture capture recordings is for critical note making.

Start with some brief notes from the lecture.

  • Only note down the keywords, and brief summary points.
  • Think about what your tutor is saying and write a brief note on your reaction to the material. Do you agree or disagree? Why? What do you need to know more about?

Expand on your notes from the recording.

  • Expand on your keyword/summary notes. Pick up any facts, names, readings or definitions that you didn't note down at the time. You can skip to a specific part of the lecture if you have made a note of a slide to review.
  • Include more illustrative detail about the concepts, theories or arguments. You can stop and start the recording, or play it back as often as you need to.
  • You might have done some more reading on the topic since the lecture - make a note of how your initial reactions have (not) changed?

A lecturer might make a personal capture recording to introduce you to a topic ahead of a lecture or seminar, or act as an extra resource to clarify or expand on what was said in a lecture.

The same note-making strategies apply; make a note of any concepts, theories, arguments or processes you didn't understand and ask your lecturer to clarify them in class.

Develop your note making skills (activity).

Using lecture recordings for revision

Your lecture notes are a great starting point when creating revision notes. However, some of your notes will have been made months before your exams. Use the recordings to revisit a lecture, refresh your memory and fill any gaps in your notes and knowledge.

Remember, this is just a starting point; for your revision notes, you will need to be selective about the important points and relate them to your wider reading in your revision.

Learn more about managing your revision, including strategies and techniques.