Guidance for staff
Encore is Durham University’s lecture capture system, enabling teaching staff to record audio and digital content during a lecture and make it available to students via Blackboard Learn Ultra.
This page has been designed to provide more information about Encore and answer many of the commonly asked questions about the use of lecture capture technology. Further detail about the new service is available from the Staff Guidance notes. Encore is governed by the University’s Lecture Capture Policy.
Last updated: 13 December 2018
Your Encore system
How do I access my Encore recordings?
If you are delivering a timetabled lecture in an Encore enabled room, your teaching session will be automatically recorded and published to the relevant module folder in Ultra.
Please note that removing this folder does not in itself mean that you have opted out of lecture capture. To opt out of recording lectures, see the FAQ ‘How do I opt out of using Encore?’
How will students access the lectures?
Without any intervention, all recorded lectures will automatically upload to Ultra after one working day. The content will be stream only and students will not be able to download the lectures. They will also be able to stream content from mobile devices and if necessary mark content for ‘offline’ viewing for occasions where a suitable network connection isn’t available.
Why do we need Encore?
Capture of lectures and teaching sessions gives every student a second chance and will provide more opportunities to participate in the live class experience. It is designed to supplement the student experience and not replace student contact hours.
Encore will be particularly important in the context of our commitment to equality and diversity and should be considered a reasonable adjustment from which all our students will benefit.
The recording of lectures is becoming the norm in UK universities, supporting students in a variety of ways by:
- providing a study aid for review and revision;
- assisting students whose first language is not English;
- assisting students who have particular educational needs and conditions.
Will my recordings be used as part of performance management?
Lecture Capture recordings will not be used for staff disciplinary or performance management purposes, unless in response to a specific formal complaint.
Will the lecture be filmed?
The technology we are presently installing will only record your voice and any digital content – such as a PowerPoint presentation, visualiser or your notes on an interactive whiteboard. The next phase of development may include the option to film lectures.
Will tutorials and seminars be recorded or just sessions formally timetabled as lectures?
Lectures are the focus in the policy. Tutorials, seminars and other teaching sessions may be recorded at the discretion of teaching staff.
Planning for using Encore
Elements of my lecture material are sensitive or controversial and I do not wish them to be recorded. Is it possible to stop the recording?
Yes. You can press the indicator light at any time to pause the recording – the light will turn from red to amber when the recording is paused. Press again to resume and the light will turn back to red. You can pause and restart the recording as many times as you like.
Please note that pressing pause does not stop the Panopto technology from recording – what it does is ensure the paused section is removed before the lecture is made available to students. This means that if you make a mistake e.g. forget to ‘un-pause’ the recording, lecture material is not lost and can be edited later (while still maintaining confidentiality of the paused sections).
Following a lecture, you can still flag any part of the recording as ‘paused’ before it is published on Ultra, and you may also edit or remove published recordings at any time.
How will staff and students know if we are in a room with Encore during the phased introduction?
Encore equipped rooms will contain wall mounted signs and there will be notices on doors to advertise the service to staff, students and visitors. Teaching staff will be encouraged to include a slide at the start of the presentation slide deck reminding participants that the lecture is being recorded (a template with the Encore icon will be provided).
How would I seek consent for guest lecturers. Is this something to be done by individuals?
As is currently the case, the host must obtain permission to record a guest lecturer in advance of the event. The permission to record template is suitable for people aged 18 or over.
If my lectures are being recorded, do I still need to upload materials to Ultra prior to the lecture?
There is still a need to comply with the minimum teaching standards in Ultra, to support the learning of all students, including students with disabilities, through the provision of outlines and summary information in advance of lectures.
Will Encore stop students attending my lectures?
The recordings are not intended to be a substitute for going to lectures, and will only include audio and screen content transmitted through the digital projector. Anything written on the board, or communicated to students via your gestures will be lost if students do not physically attend the lecture.
Interviews with students show they value the live experience, the face-to-face interaction found in lectures, particularly when it includes opportunities for class discussion, question and answers, group working and problem solving. Encore also offers the chance to change the focus of your students in class, by reducing the need to write everything down there and then.
Practicalities of using Encore
During a lecture how will students and staff know if the recording function is on or off?
During recording, a lectern mounted indicator light will inform students and staff that the lecture capture recording is taking place. The lecturer will have the ability to pause recordings, for example during Q&A sessions, by pressing the indicator light which will double as a switch.
My recording has failed - What do I do next?
Encore is intended to be used as a supplement and enhancement to student learning and should not be used as a replacement for attending lectures. Whilst we endeavour to record every session, recordings may sometimes fail or have audio/visual difficulties. Should your recording be affected, you are not expected to replicate or replace lecture content. As per the “minimum standards in Ultra” policy, pre-lecture materials should already be available.
What arrangements will be in place if students do not wish to have their questions recorded?
The recording can be paused at any time. If a student wishes to ask a question without being featured in the published recording, they can notify you before they start their question. They are also allowed to request after the lecture that their individual question be edited from the recording before it is released to the student cohort.
Will I be expected to wear a radio microphone? If not, how will it work when I move around a room during a lecture?
Yes, if the room is equipped with a lapel microphone it is recommended that you use it to ensure your voice is clearly heard in the recording.
How do I opt out of using Encore?
If you decide that some of your sessions are not suitable for recording and want to opt out, the most straightforward way to do this is to use the light indicator within the room to switch off a recording. The indicator button enables you to pause, stop and cancel recordings. A recording about to start is indicated by a pulsing green light and one in progress is indicated by solid red. To stop a recording, before you begin the lecture simply press and hold down the indicator until the light turns to solid green - this indicates that recording has stopped.
We are also currently working on an ‘opt out’ web portal that will be available later this term. This will enable you to opt out of recording your lectures in advance. Once this service is available, we will share more detailed information and instructions.
Are students allowed to download recordings for redistribution elsewhere e.g. YouTube?
No. By default, the Panopto software used by the Encore service does not allow recordings to be downloaded, only streamed.
The Panopto mobile viewer app can make recordings available for offline viewing when a network connection is not available, but it does not allow these to be downloaded further from within the app.
Whilst technology solutions for capturing or downloading a video stream do exist, the use of these is strictly forbidden by the University’s Lecture Capture policy unless used with explicit written permission. Students who do so without permission will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
What are the implications for intellectual property and copyright of recorded material?
As stated in the existing University’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy, all materials produced by staff in conjunction with their role at the University are owned by the University. As such, the recording of the lecture would be considered the intellectual property of the University. Staff will retain authoring rights for their work, as per current staff terms and conditions of employment. Specific guidance is already available on the University’s website to support learning and teaching activities, on the Video Support pages.
Will all students be able to access my lectures once they have been recorded?
The lecture recordings will only be available to students who are enrolled on the course or module, and are registered to do so within the Student Records System.
Will I be able to edit the lectures?
Yes. The one working day window is to give staff the opportunity to make any edits they require, prior to the content going live. It is also possible to edit the lectures once they have gone up on duo and only the most recently edited version will be available to students. However, the ability to pause and restart the lecture should mean there is not a need to make many edits to the recording. Other universities are reporting 90%+ of recordings are not edited prior to release. Training will be made available to staff to edit content.
Staff can also use the note taking functionality built into Panopto to add in additional supporting materials and enhance the recording with further materials after the event, if they so wish.
Will lecturers be able to copy and then edit recordings to make them even more useful to students - e.g. providing an annotated excerpt as well as the full recording?
Yes, this will be possible and staff can add in links to other resources if needed.
What training on the system will be made available to staff (academics and admin)?
As part of the release of Encore, the University will provide a range of different support materials for staff. This will include online quick guides as well as face to face drop-in sessions, which will be available to all teaching staff from September.
With the change to Blackboard Learn Ultra, the following guide, created by DCAD may be of use:
For technical issues, please contact: https://servicedesk.durham.ac.uk/