Competition is keen for lecture-capture classrooms

Do you teach a course that requires your lectures to be recorded (or "captured") for online students?

Do you tend to wait until one semester is all but over before thinking about the next one?

The team tasked with making sure lectures are captured encourages you to look a little further down the road. Planning ahead – and sharing your plans – means faculty who need to be in a capture-equipped classroom are assigned to one, with minimal room reassignments for their teaching colleagues across the university.

"We moved almost 30 classes for spring semester to get faculty into capture rooms," said Katie Baumgarn, who leads the group that schedules Iowa State's 214 general university classrooms. "That's not good for anyone, especially the faculty who have to move."

Growing student enrollment, diverse course offerings and faculty room requests already make classroom scheduling a tight business at Iowa State. Throw in the lecture-capture request and the job gets even harder. In effect, it's like scheduling a lab class, Baumgarn said, because of the equipment required for a lecture-capture course.

About 24 general university classrooms are equipped with lecture-capture systems, and another 20 have the infrastructure in place to support the hardware as funds become available. Additionally, about 10 classrooms "owned" by departments or colleges are equipped.

As with nearly all classrooms, requests to use capture-equipped rooms outside of prime time – before 9 a.m. and after 3 p.m. – are easier to meet, Baumgarn said.

"Everyone wants to teach at 9:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays," she said. "That's one of those times when there are more classes than rooms."

A semester's notice would be great

"So, when the request is Tuesday-Thursday at 9:30 and they tell you they need to be in a unique room (for lecture capture), things get a little nuts for Katie's team," said ag and biosystems engineering associate professor Tom Brumm, who also leads the Engineering-LAS Online Learning program. "There's a lot more flexibility with where you get to teach if you're not teaching in prime time."

Brumm says summer session requests for lecture capture classrooms should have gone to college representatives in late December. Ideally, fall semester requests were submitted in early January (ASAP is that deadline now), and requests for spring semester 2015 should be shared in early September. Rooms are assigned, by seat capacity and teaching technology, before registration opens for students.

Contact your college rep

The college contacts for lecture capture assistance are:

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: Gaylen Scofield, CALS distance education, 4-0045
  • Business: Danny Johnson, associate dean for undergraduate programs, 4-0629
  • Design: Marwan Ghandour, associate dean for academic programs, 4-7428
  • Engineering: Amanda Rasmusson, Engineering-LAS Online Learning, 4-1979
  • Human Sciences: Ann Bugler, HS administration, 4-5812
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Amanda Rasmusson, Engineering-LAS Online Learning, 4-1979
  • Veterinary Medicine: Claire Andreasen, associate dean for academic and student affairs, 4-3843

Can we share the room assignment?

Brumm also noted that moving more class content online reduces, in some cases, the number of class meetings each week. This creates opportunities for faculty to share a typical room assignment – for example a Tuesday-Thursday rotation when each class meets weekly. While Baumgarn's team is always on the lookout for those opportunities, they may be easier to spot at the department or college level, he said.