Research Shows Correlation Between Recorded Lectures and Student Absence


Students and academics have opposing views on the impacts of lecture capture, a large-scale study from University of Leeds has shown.

As opposed to previous research, which had smaller sample sizes and relied on academics to report their own numbers, this new study by University of Leeds interviewed more than 1700 students and the majority of teaching staff to draw conclusions on the effects of lecture capture.

Unsurprisingly, the  study concluded that recording lectures and making them available online to students caused a drop in attendance, from 85% to 81%. More than half of the surveyed staff agreed that the drop in attendance was encouraged by the recording of lectures. 27.5% of staff also reported that lecture recording had led them to change their way of delivering their lecture, and more than 50% said that they were less spontaneous.

The Dean of Digital Education at the University of Leeds, Professor Neil Morris, stated that the drop in attendance should be seen as “marginal”, and was part of the “vicious circle” of less spontaneous and engaging lectures from teaching staff.

Professor Morris also highlighted students’ positive view of lecture capture. In addition to students with special needs or personal and family issues that prevented them from attending or engaging with lectures, students also used the recordings to clarify points they did not understand during the lecture. They also use them for more complete note taking and exam preparation.

Between the first and fourth year of the study, the number of views of these recordings climbed up from 500,000 to 1.7 million at Leeds University.

“Implementing the technology effectively, led by pedagogy”

As the importance of these recordings to students has been clearly demonstrated, Professor Morris stated that there needed to be a “conversation” with university staff in order to avoid the negative impacts of lecture capture.


Science and Tech editor 2019/20, Fourth year Marine Biology student. Can be found at the pool, the sea or on a windsurf board.

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