WASHINGTON, November 12, 2013 - (EON: Enhanced Online News) -- An article published in the latest issue of the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) scholarly publication, the Journal of Dental Education (JDE), reports on the increasing use of lecture recordings in dental schools and the need to establish a system of common guidelines to effectively incorporate lecture recording into the classroom.
“Use of Lecture Recordings in Dental Education: Assessment of Status Quo and Recommendations,” by Zsuzsa Horvath, PhD, and co-authors, presents the findings of a dental school survey designed to gauge the effects of lecture recordings on teaching and learning and the policies in place for implementing this practice. The authors developed the questionnaire and distributed it to all North American dental schools. Of the 45 that responded, 28 schools reported participating in lecture recording and, therefore, these schools were used as the study’s sample.
The study found that dental schools have implemented lecture recording practices mostly in response to high student demand. Although there is little research to establish a link between lecture recordings and higher student achievement, students prefer to have the recordings available for review before an exam.
According to one of the authors, Heiko Spallek, DMD, PhD, MSBA, “While there is overwhelming evidence that students perceive lecture recording as a support tool that positively affects learning, there seems to be little or no evidence that it actually does. Many critics argue that replacing face-to-face lectures with watching a lecture on a screen might impede learning, but they have no evidence for that assertion either.”
While there is a fear that lecture recordings might lead to lower class attendance, most schools responded that they have not needed to change their attendance policies to prevent this potential problem, although several of them already require mandatory attendance.
In addition, a substantial number of the responding schools reported that lecture recording has led to changes in teaching at their institutions. A few of these changes include altering lecture formats, emphasizing case and problem integration, including more video, transitioning from slides to PowerPoint and having the students view or listen to the lecture before class.
In response to the potential for lecture recording to change teaching, the authors suggest that assigning the lectures as homework could free up class time for activities that promote student-centered learning and higher-level thinking skills, but they also note the difficulty of fitting the lectures into dental students’ already heavy workload.