Only one fifth of lectures in College are recorded, union report reveals

The report by TCDSU calls for universal lecture recordings across College

Only 18 to 22% of lectures are recorded in College, according to a new report by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU).

Of the 1,556 students who responded to a survey from the union, 97% felt that more lecture recordings were needed.

The survey also found that 82.4% of respondents accessed lecture recordings when they were made available to them.

12.1% of the total respondents revealed that their course had no lecture recordings available to them which the report says highlighted “a gap in the provision of lecture recordings across different paths of study.”

The most common reasons cited by students for why they accessed lecture recordings when they were made available included avoiding a long commute (47.7%), other study-related activities (44.3%), work commitments (30.7%) and mental health reasons (29.8%).

The highest percentage of respondents came from the “student who works” category at 58.6%, followed by students with disabilities at 25.5%. Students where English was a second or foreign language accounted for 17.8% of respondents.

Three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they used lecture recordings regularly.

The report went on to say how this “attests to [recordings’] widespread acceptance and effectiveness as a learning tool.”

When asked why they want to use lecture recordings, common responses included making up for a missed lecture (85.3%), preparing for the exam (85.3%), clarifying the material (82.5%), improving retention of lecture materials (67%), reviewing material after a lecture (65.1) and assisting with an assignment (64.7%).

The report details how “the results of this question clearly highlight that lecture recording is not understood by students to be replacing live attendance, but rather complimenting it” going on to say how “it is clear that lecture recordings are crucial for academic achievement.”

The report includes ten recommendations detailing “practical steps to implement universal lecture recording.”

Some of these steps include providing staff with the necessary resources in order to manage these changes and for the college to run an awareness wide campaign on the need for universal lecture recordings and their importance to student learning. The recommendations also called on the College to adopt the policy of universal lecture recordings following the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.

The report was drafted by TCDSU President László Molnárfi and the survey was conducted between January and February of 2024 collecting responses from across all year groups and 24 Schools within TCD.

Aoibhinn Clancy

Aoibhínn Clancy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in her Junior Sophister Year studying History and Political Science.