Information for departments

Student Quote: Listening back it was nice to be able to see the process unfold as well as listening the the lecturer

Student Quote: I'll go over lectures on different skills before I go to practicals so that I understand the principles

The Replay Timetabled Lecture Capture service provides automated recording of projection screens and audio in over 60 rooms. Replay can also be used for student presentations, video feedback and creating at-desk recordings to target specific knowledge gaps or as part of a flipped-classroom approach. Answers to common questions are covered in our guidelines:

Opt-out or opt-in departmental policies

A growing number of departments have opt-out policies for the use of lecture capture, with some departments having adopted such approaches successfully for a number of years. 'Opt-out' means that all lectures are recorded by default, with lecturers able to opt-out of recording specific sessions or modules. When lectures are added to the University Timetable, they are also requested to be captured. If you are an opt-out department, please ensure your Departmental Timetabler is aware of your policy.

Other departments will have an opt-in policy. 'Opt-in' means that lectures are not requested to be captured by default. In this case, lectures must be requested to be captured by the lecturer or module convenor contacting your Departmental Timetabler or, as appropriate.

For both approaches, the requests are processed afresh each academic year, as staff may change and new modules become available. 

Always check the University Timetable which will indicate whether a lecture is scheduled for capture (showing the Replay logo) or not.

If you are planning to discuss lecture capture at a Staff Meeting or Board of Studies, or simply would like to find out more about the process and learning benefits, please contact as we would be happy to provide a short presentation or demonstration.

Why adopt lecture capture

The decision to establish an institutional lecture capture service was prompted by a strong level of student support which emerged through trials of Digital Recording of Lectures (DRoL) in 2010-11. The Replay service was announced as part of the Senior Management Group Briefing Note on Investment in the Student Experience in January 2012. We continue to evaluate the service and feedback from staff and students in our surveys underlines the positive reception of Replay in supporting teaching and learning activities.

At York we are also leading critical research into the way lecture captures form a part of students' independent study practice. Our headline findings indicate that students are adopting individual and creative approaches to using captures, supplementing their notes and valuing the face-to-face contact of the lecture experience. As a result of the research, student study guidance is available and we encourage departments to embed this within their induction programme.

Key benefits of lecture capture

Lecture capture does not replicate the teaching session, but offers a different learning experience that allows students to recap parts of the lecture they did not understand or ideas they want to explore further. Lecture capture:

  • Allows students to recap and revise complex or new ideas better explained visually or verbally.
  • Helps to overcome language barriers, allowing students to replay sections to understand contexts and terminology.
  • As part of inclusive teaching practice, offers an additional learning resource for disabled students, including those who choose not to declare their disability, enabling them to control the volume, pace and screen size of presentations.
  • Ensures students who are unable to attend lectures, for example due to illness, are able to review key parts of their course and not get left behind.

As a lecturer, you are also able to monitor which parts of your recordings are most viewed. This can be a useful tool to help you identify where further explanation or guidance may be required.