Lecture Capture Anyone?

February 1, 2016

After several years of using portable audio recorders to record classes for students and Adobe Presenter to add narration to PowerPoint Presentations, Albany Law School has moved to the Panopto lecture capture system for these tasks and more. (Examples are explained below.)

Panopto allows for easy recording and reviewing of courses, lectures, and presentations. As a secure cloud-enabled service, Panopto is designed to simplify the lecture capture process. Recordings made by Panopto can be viewed on most browsers and mobile devices. They also can only be accessed with school log in credentials or TWEN log in credentials.

Flipping the Classroom

The flipped classroom is one of the hottest trends in education. Professors can use the Panopto software to record lectures or narrate a PowerPoint presentation for students to view outside of class. Then class time can be used to apply the recorded content through discussion and problem-solving activities. The result being increased student engagement and more in-depth discussion during the class time.

fam law

Student Recordings

Students can record themselves in simulated client counseling and negotiation sessions.  These recordings can then be shared with peers or the professor for critique and feedback.


Faculty/Staff/Student Trainings

Various departments in the school (IT, Careers, Library, etc.) can record demonstrations for students and staff and then post them instead holding on-site trainings.


Classroom Recordings

If students have learning accommodations or they miss important classes, Panopto’s remote capability can seamlessly record classes so that students can access them through their course’s TWEN site.

twen panopto

When students view the recording, instead of just audio, they will be able to follow along with whatever the professor has on the screen such as, PowerPoint presentations, notes on the white board, content from the document camera, videos, web content, etc., thus making the recording much more valuable.


Here the professor is sharing a document from her computer.

The student can also take notes at different points in the recording.


The recording is searchable, as well – the audio and the text (if there is text recorded.)


Each time the professor mentioned “government” is noted by the time of the recording. (No text was shared.)

Below are some articles on using lecture capture in higher education:

Any other schools use lecture capture?  If so, in which ways?  




Make Up Classes

December 12, 2014

Though law school classes are rarely cancelled, what can a professor do to “make up the class” if a class is cancelled.

Rescheduling is usually not an option due room schedules and student schedules.

Ignoring it is not an option because the course content needs to be covered.

One software that professors can use is Adobe Presenter.  With this software, they can re-purpose their PowerPoint presentation for that class by adding narration.  The presentation can then be uploaded as a PDF to the course’s LMS.  Students with Adobe Reader can view and listen to the content.

Although professors may spend a lot time narrating their presentation, students may not spend the time to listen to it.

It would defeat the purpose to just review the content in class.

Instead, professors can create an online quiz where students are required to listen the PowerPoint presentation in order to answer the quiz questions correctly.


One of the professors at Albany Law School did just that.  She narrated a PowerPoint presentation for her NY Practice class, posted it to TWEN and then asked students to take a 5 question quiz.


This professor can see by the graph above that most of the students answered the questions correctly. In other words, they listened to the presentation.

Anyone else have suggestions for making up cancelled classes?

Using Technology to Confuse Students

August 14, 2014

recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the results of an experiment done about 10 years ago by Derek Muller, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney,

Muller created two types of videos to teach science to his students.

In some videos, he had an actor explain the concepts straightforwardly or “concisely.” In other videos, he included more ambiguity which some of the students called “confusing.”

But when Mr. Muller analyzed the results of tests he administered to the students before and after showing them the videos, he found that “the students who had watched the more confusing videos learned more” but the other students seems more confident in their understanding.

In 2011, Muller concluded:

“It seems that, if you just present the correct information, five things happen. One, students think they know it. Two, they don’t pay their utmost attention. Three, they don’t recognize that what was presented differs from what they were already thinking. Four, they don’t learn a thing. And five, perhaps most troublingly, they get more confident in the ideas they were thinking before.”

So maybe law professors should try adding some confusing situations to their cohesive PowerPoint presentations?

Prezi instead of PowerPoint?

July 7, 2014

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation platform. Unlike slides, Prezi’s open, zoom-able canvas lets you show relationships between the big picture and fine details, putting your ideas in context.

Here are some lawschool-related examples:

Check out these links to get started using Prezi:






or just search for Prezi in YouTube and you will find loads of tutorials like these two below:


Use Prezi for free and the presentations you create will be publicly visible and you will be able to create, collaborate and present on prezi.com with 100MB cloud storage. There are also paid subscription versions which give you more options and more storage space.

The drawbacks to using Prezi come primarily from the user’s preconceptions. It can be really hard to move away from bullets and slides if that’s how you’re used to conveying information. It is also tough to release your creativity onto a blank canvas and envision the swirling, whirling beauty of your finished Prezi.

I have used both (though PowerPoint a lot more than Prezi) and I found the comparison below of PowerPoint vs Prezi (from http://www.bubblews.com/news/1121789-prezi-versus-powerpoint) to be very accurate:

Prezi strengths:

  • Free, but only if you’re happy for your presentations to be public. Private presentations require an upgraded account.
  • Prezi gives a feeling that the presentation is more fluid and more visual.
  • Web based (can access from any computer, tablet, etc.)
  • Prezi’s collaboration feature makes it easy to edit presentations with other users in real-time.
  • Non-Linear navigation and ‘map’ metaphor is preferred by some people.
  • Short learning curve.

Prezi weaknesses:

  • Prezi can make people dizzy. Can include a lot of useless motion (you can use grouping and frames to avoid motion sickness).
  • Limited printing options.
  • Web based (best if you have an internet connection).
  • The animation novelty can wear off. (If you saw 10 Prezi presentation in a row at a conference you might throw up).
  • There is a learning curve.

Powerpoint strengths:

  • More features and options (may not be a strength of you want simplicity!).
  • May be more reliable to carry your presentation on a USB stick.
  • You can have WOW impact with Powerpoint animations (and you’re not limited to just one).
  • Linear slide format and design is preferred by some.
  • More people are familiar with this format if you are working with other on your presentation (no learning curve).

Powerpoint weaknesses:

  • Animation not as smooth as Prezi.
  • Most people don’t use it well and so can seem visually boring.
  • Most people use 10% of the features so it’s by being all things to all people it’s harder to get a simple, visually stunning result.

But if your students’ eyes glaze over at the thought of another one of your PowerPoint presentations, why not try Prezi to create a more dynamic presentation.

Do you your law school professors use PowerPoint or Prezi to create presentations for their students?

Flipping the Learning Paradigm with Adobe Presenter

June 27, 2014

Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM PT/ 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Dr. Allen Partridge

A growing trend in Higher Education suggests – move the content delivery out of the classroom and bring the students back in. What this essentially means is, a large number of Higher Ed institutions are embracing Flipped Learning, which lets you make use of the precious class time better to encourage collaborative learning.

In this session you will learn, how with Adobe Presenter, you can achieve Flipped Learning. Now turn your teaching content into HD videos from your desktop and publish to popular video sharing sites. Repurpose existing PowerPoint presentations with out-of-the-box assets, add eye-catching quizzes, and deliver these courses to your students’ desktops and tablets. Enable video analytics to identify learners who need extra help. Track advanced learner performance metrics when you upload these courses on leading learning management systems.

Register here for this complimentary session >>

At Albany Law School, many professors have been narrating their PowerPoint presentations using Adobe Presenter and then posting them as pdfs (with audio) in the course’s TWEN site.  These recorded presentations are assigned as homework. In class, the professors now have more time for discussion and assessments.

Improving Presentations with Learning Science

October 16, 2013

Check out this interesting post by Aaron Dewald in the Law School Ed Tech blog


This video (Part 3)  gives the viewer three practical ways in which they can improve their presentations to encourage deeper learning:

Higher Ed Faculty’s Attitudes on Technology

August 30, 2013

Inside Higher Ed recently published their results of a new Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology,  Gallup conducted this poll on 2,251 professors and 248 academic technology administrators, from all types of institutions.

Most of the survey questions dealt with faculty attitudes toward online learning.  On the whole, faculty attitudes toward online learning and especially MOOCs are pretty negative. Since at the present time, Albany Law School does not offer any online courses, the results on other technology-related topics (adaptive learning, lecture capture, LMS) are more relevant for us.

Only 1/3 of the professors surveyed report that they have used adaptive learning (adapting the presentation of educational material according to students’ learning needs). But 61% of them agree or strongly agree that adaptive learning has “great potential to make a positive impact on higher education.” (84% of the academic technology administrators believed this.)

Only 19% reported using lecture capture (recording lectures & embedding them). But 50% said that they believed lecture capture has great potential for a positive impact on higher education, (2/3 of the academic technology administrators believed this.)

Learning management systems (LMS) are used on almost every campus but survey results showed that many professors only use their LMS for basic tasks and may not be using all features available (see chart below.)

Frequency With Which Faculty Use LMS Features

Feature Always Usually Sometimes Never
Share syllabus with students 76% 10% 8% 7%
Track student attendance 24% 10% 16% 50%
Record grades 53% 13% 12% 22%
Provide e-textbooks and related materials 36% 22% 22% 19%
Integrate lecture capture 11% 7% 13% 69%
Communicate with students 53% 21% 16% 9%
Identify students who may need extra help 24% 15% 27% 34%

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/survey-faculty-attitudes-technology#ixzz2dNa6Q1Kx

Law School faculty have incorporated adaptive learning through the following technology tools:

  • CALI interactive lessons
  • TWEN online quizzes
  • Clickers/Student Response systems
  • Interactive Computer Simulations such as The Objection series
  • Core Grammar For Lawyers (this year with 1Ls)

Lecture capture has been much easier with the newer technologies.  Even if you are not fortunate enough to have built-in systems (Tegrity, Panopto, MediaSite, Echo360) installed in the classroom, there are ways to record your classes and make the files available for students:

  • recording audio using a digital recorder and posting in the LMS
  • adding narration to PowerPoint presentations (using Adobe Presenter) and posting a pdf
  • recording through Adobe Connect and sharing video link
  • recording video using a webcam and posting in the LMS
  • using various free screen capture programs (such as Screenr.com, Jing.com, Screen o’matic.com)

Almost all our professors use a LMS (in our case, TWEN) to share content and communicate with students. 78 out of 96 courses already have sites set up (many of those without sites are taught by adjuncts.)  Consistent with the above survey results, many of the professors only use their site to post the syllabus and course materials. However, each year, more of the faculty are taking advantage of the other features available to them in TWEN:

  • Assignment Submissions
  • Assignment Submissions (with anonymous grading)
  • Email options
  • Discussion forums
  • Sign-up Sheets
  • Polling
  • Online Quizzes
  • Gradebook
  • Wiki
  • Posting audio and video (to flip the classroom)

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