Untethered Lecture Capture
Samuel Williams, Director of Academic Technology Services and Innovation (ATSI); Lorretta Krautscheid, Interim Associate Dean School of Nursing; Ben Kahn, Instructional Design & Technology Specialist
Faculty members at the University of Portland were seeking innovative strategies to enhance student-faculty collaboration in the classroom, provide supplemental learning resources extending learning beyond the classroom, and meet the diverse learning needs of the student population. Academic Technology Services and Innovation (ATSI) staff partnered with the Provost’s office and the School of Nursing, providing financial and human resources to develop, implement and evaluate the Untethered Lecture Capture (ULC) project.
During the first year, the School of Nursing provided workload release for a tenured faculty member to serve as the ATSI Faculty in Residence (FIR). Together, ATSI staff and the FIR conducted a needs assessment, literature review, developed the ULC business plan, selected ULC first-user faculty members, implemented and evaluated the program.
In the first year (2017-2018), the ULC project implementation team sent out a campus-wide call inviting interested faculty to apply to participate in the ULC project. Twenty faculty submitted applications. Seventeen faculty members, representing nine disciplines, were selected to participate in the ULC project. These ULC faculty members participated in ULC orientation, received mentoring, and supplied with technology resources which were paid for by the Office of the Provost, Information Services, and the School of Nursing. Noteworthy here is that student and faculty interest grew and by May 2018, an additional 10 faculty members were utilizing ULC methods in their courses. These additional faculty members participated in orientation and received mentoring but paid for their own technology resources using professional development funds available through their individual academic units.
In addition to quantitative data, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved qualitative research study was conducted to describe student experiences in ULC classrooms. Qualitative research findings resulted in three themes. Specifically, students reported ULC resources leveled the learning field, enhancing learning resource accessibility, creating learning efficiencies and minimizing disadvantages experienced by diverse student populations. Additionally, ULC enhanced learning affordances via access to personal learning resources, permitting students to go back and go deeper at their own pace. Finally, students perceived untethered teachers as teaching among us which enhanced student focus, classroom collaboration, and course content retention.
Rather than focusing on a single way that technology could enhance teaching, the ULC project combined and synthesized several distinct approaches into a new, transformative pedagogical approach. The ULC project incorporated enhanced multimedia instructional principles, freedom of movement in the classroom, and comprehensive video-based learning resources for students to review at their own pace. Technology use was designed to increase student engagement and involvement at each stage of the learning process.
To achieve project goals, no single “off-the-shelf” technological tool or process was enough. Instead, ATSI and the FIR researched, tested, integrated, implemented, and supported a suite of technologies to facilitate each step of the ULC process. The components included a mobile device (iPad) and whiteboarding software (Explain Everything); a screen mirroring solution in the classrooms (WePresent/AirServer), and a multimedia hosting/streaming platform (Kaltura/TechSmith Relay). The close collaborative work of pedagogy and technology experts allowed rapid iteration and adaptability in developing our tool set for the project.
Because of the essential requirement for faculty to quickly learn multiple interconnected processes, the implementation group further utilized technology to support and encourage participating faculty members. Just-in-time training and resources were made available via a Moodle course with the faculty enrolled as students. Additionally, Microsoft Teams was used to provide extra support and collaboration opportunities. Project leads were available via Teams for instant-message or video call/screenshare support. Faculty also used the chat application to communicate with each other, share successes and tips, and arrange classroom observation visits.