Dr. Edward J.N. Ishac,
Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
" Lecture capture is a supplement, not a replacement, for the
One of the nation's top universities for sponsored research, Virginia
Commonwealth University (VCU) enrolls more than 32,000 students at its
two campuses in Richmond, satellite locations throughout Virginia and a
campus in Doha, Qatar. Its prestigious health science schools and
clinical operations of the VCU Health System comprise the VCU Medical
VCU created its Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) to strengthen
faculty development and in turn, enhance student learning. CTE brought
instructors together to discuss the school's successful track record
with Echo360’s lecture capture technology. Professors from the medical
and nursing schools spoke about their real-world experiences – how they
use it, what students think and the challenges involved.
School of Medicine
Dr. Edward Ishac, Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Medical
Pharmacology Course Director, has been using lecture capture for over
four years. The sweet spot for him is reinforcement of key principles.
Echo360 allows him to transport complex topics that students struggle to
understand in a traditional classroom lecture into a medium they use on
a daily basis and do like. Then they can pause and review the concept
again for maximum retention. Some of his students have long commutes,
and they can review the audio component of their lectures in the car.
The benefits are outstanding.
What about attendance? Won't students just stop coming to class if they
can watch the lecture later? Attendance is not compulsory in Dr. Ishac’s
class, and yet he has not seen a drop. It is up to the professor to make
the classroom experience an environment that supports creativity and
encourages critical thinking, and to use the technology in a way that
enhances personal teaching style. And it’s worked. "Lecture capture is a
supplement, not a replacement, for the teacher," says Dr. Ishac.
The medical school creates four or five captures a day and posts them to
a proprietary system for student access. Instructors typically find the
technology very user-friendly. Ishac says, "With Echo360, the recording
will start and stop, and you don’t need to know anything about the
technology." Faculty members are encouraged to participate but have the
option to opt out. However, the instant success of Echo360 has made not
recording lectures an unpopular choice with the students. During the
2008/09 academic year faculty use was over 90% and this year it is
anticipated that usage will be almost 100%.
Here and Now
VCU has an impressive list of groups doing lecture capture – pharmacy,
nursing, medical, engineering and business. Success stories like those
of Dr. Ishac are helping their peers learn the technology
and overcome the misconception that lecture capture will replace
faculty. The learning environment is dynamic, with content that changes from year to year.
Lecture capture simply reinforces that and allows students to review the
material in more detail and a greater depth.
VCU Technology Services is responsible for implementing and supporting
the technology used around campus. Today, Technology Services supports
Echo360 capturing in several schools and departments and hopes to bring
on more. Not only does the group support the storage and delivery of the
captures, but it often brings support staff together in order to learn
and share how Echo360 and other technologies are used in programs across
campus. "Technology Services is committed to bringing technologies to
campus that will be creative, innovative and add value to University
activities, especially instruction and research," says Mark D. Willis,
Chief Information Officer. "Echo360 advances our responsibilities for
delivering high quality products and services to the faculty, staff and
students of VCU."
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