The need to attend class may be waning with the spread of class capturing practices.
“Right now this technology is rooted in higher education and, especially, highly technical education like medical schools and engineering schools where students are asked to memorize a lot of rote information,” says Andy Petroski, director of learning technologies at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Harrisburg, Pa. “In those settings, if you miss 30 seconds of a class, you may have missed quite a bit of content.”
At least two companies — Sonic Foundry and McGraw-Hill — are pushing hard for class capture to become ubiquitous in university classrooms, especially because licensing of the software is on a per-course basis, creating a potential boon. A number of delicate issues surround the larger implementation of class capture, including intellectual property rights of professors, along with fears of heightened scrutiny.
“If you’re using class capture, you have to be aware that what you say in class can be played back. You do have to think a little more about the content, not only because of the (added scrutiny), but you also have to create more visuals on the screen,” says David Schuff, associate professor of management information systems at Temple University in Philadelphia.