QATAR: Recording lectures for students

Students and faculty at Qatar University can now access their courses and seminars outside of traditional classrooms with the aid of recorded lectures provided by US-based company Echo360 .

Its lecture capture technology will offer students enrolled in courses at the Gulf emirate university's colleges of pharmacy, education, business and engineering, its foundation programme, or its office of faculty and instructional development the chance to revisit past lectures.

"Using lecture capture has impacted considerably on teaching approaches and the students' enjoyment of learning at the institution," says Muhammad Javeed, Qatar University's Director IT services.

The university has already seen a large use of Virginia-headquartered Echo360 lecture footage with most students accessing the lectures before final exams or immediately after class. Recording lectures enables universities and colleges to go beyond the barriers of location and time, says Dr Peter Jewesson, dean of the college of pharmacy.

"It allows students to revisit the lectures at any place and time, as well as take advantage of accessing and critiquing their own presentations and those of fellow students."

Qatar University's pharmacy college, which opened in September 2007, began using Echo360 lecture capture technology in April 2008. Employing lecture capture in classrooms helps facilitate learning and teaching especially when for most students English is their second or third language, says college business, marketing, and communications specialist Tammy King.

Since the launch, the Qatar's college of pharmacy has continued using the technology for professional courses, which are now recorded and archived online, making the content publicly available.

"Lecture capture is emerging as a positive change agent worldwide, improving student satisfaction and learning outcomes while supporting the unique mission of each institution," says Mark Jones, president of Echo360. The system was developed in partnership with the University of Western Australia.