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Durham University


Studying With Lecture Recordings

During your time at Durham University you may find that some of your taught sessions such as lectures are recorded and made available to you on Blackboard Learn Ultra using a system called Encore. Lecture recordings give you the opportunity to revisit materials in your own time and at your own pace.

Encore is provided as a supplementary learning resource and is not a substitute for attending lectures. Research has shown that attendance is still vital to success.

The following guidance explains how best to make use of recorded lectures to enhance your learning.

student using lecture recording to study
Image © Durham University

  • Look back at the previous lecture recording and try to fill in any gaps in your notes.
  • If the lecture slides are available on Ultra before the session, take the opportunity to look through them. This may help you to establish connections to concepts covered in other lectures.
  • Find a good app for taking notes during the lecture such as OneNote (available for free to Durham students through the Office 365 subscription).
  • Consider preparing a Cornell note-taking template to help structure your notes in the lecture.

Students in lecture theatre
Image © Durham University

  • Engage in the lecture content and make notes of key points and anything that comes to mind.
  • Don’t try and write down everything your lecturer is saying. You can use the recording to revisit anything you miss.
  • However do take notes, as remember Encore is a technology that can fail.
  • Try to engage in the lecture and ask questions. You may be able to address any misunderstandings in the lecture.

Remember – If you want to ask a question but don’t want it to be included in the recording, ask your lecturer to pause the recording using the Encore Indicator Light.

Using The Player

Using The Player

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How to use the encore player to watch recordings

  • Revisit the recording as soon as it’s made available on Ultra. By default this will be one working day after the lecture, but some staff may release the recordings to you earlier.
  • Use the player’s search functionality to quickly find specific parts of the recording.
  • Revisit any parts of the lecture that you found particularly difficult or you didn’t fully understand to see if those parts become any clearer on a second or third viewing.
  • Don’t watch the recordings back in full unless it’s absolutely necessary. Studies show the best use of lecture capture is when students target their attention to specific areas.
  • Use the bookmarking feature to save any parts of your recordings that you want to revisit later. This may be a concept you don’t understand, something directly related to assessment, or something you want to discuss with your tutor.

Remember – Be careful not to rely solely on content covered in the lecture. You should read beyond the lecture materials and develop a wider understanding of your subject.