Streaming Options for In-Person Classroom Lectures

Many face-to-face or staggered classes may need an alternative way for students to view in-person classroom lectures. There are several options for replacing in-classroom lectures, all of which are commonly referred to as "streaming". These include: lecture capture (one-way asyncrhonous streaming), one-way live streaming (synchronous), and two-way live streaming (synchronous).

Lecture Capture (One-way Asynchronous  Stream) One-way Live Stream (Synchronous) Two-way Live Stream (Synchronous)
Description Lecture is recorded (up to 4 video inputs, such as camera, computer screen, or document camera) and made available digitally to students after class meeting, students watch recording and interact asynchronously Lecture is broadcast live (1-2 video inputs, such as a camera and slide presentation) while teaching face-to-face class, students watch live and interact asynchronously Lecture is broadcast live (1-2 video inputs such as a camera, computer screen, or document camera) while teaching face-to-face class, students watch live and interact live during scheduled class meeting time
Intended Uses Using low- or mid-end hardware, for any number of remote viewers when flexibility is priority and interaction can by asynchronous Using high-end hardware, when lecture is time-sensitive and interaction can be asynchronous Using high-end hardware, when there is a TA or someone who can actively monitor and engage with remote students
Student Experience Students watch recorded lectures (1-4 inputs and can choose amongst them) and participate asynchronously Students watch live (1-2 inputs) and participate asynchronously Students watch lecture live (1-2 inputs) and participate in real-time
Faculty Experience Simplest solution for faculty with most options for accommodating various technical configurations Simpler for faculty than 2-way live stream Added steps, both technical and pedagogical, to engage both in-person and remote live audiences
Hardware Needed Mid-end computer workstation or laptop; can handle multiple inputs (up to 4 simultaneous) High-end computer workstation capable of multiple inputs; hardware for needed inputs High-end computer workstation capable of multiple inputs; hardware for needed inputs
Network Bandwidth Demands Low network demands, recording happens on local workstation and uploaded High network demands on both campus network and remote students’ bandwidth High network demands on both campus network and remote students’ bandwidth
Accessibility Recordings automatically machine captioned at 95% accuracy, can be further edited to achieve 100% Requires live captionist, or sign language interpreting in separate platform Requires live captionist or sign language interpreter (may be require separate platform)
Advantages
  • Most flexible, scalable, and affordable solution
  • Requires least amount of set up or management by faculty
  • Lowest bandwidth requirement for students
  • Time-sensitive solution
  • Closest solution to live in-person class
Disadvantages
  • Asynchronous viewing and participation only
  • Many variables that can impact the user experience (high probability for failure)
  • Expensive
  • Significant network bandwidth speed needed by students to view
  • Limited on type and number of video inputs
  • Many variables that can impact the user experience (high probability for failure)
  • Expensive
  • Significant network bandwidth speed needed by students to view
  • High-touch support needed
  • Requires high levels of set up and management by faculty

Across higher ed, the majority of such “streaming” alternatives are most often lecture capture, as this solution is the most affordable and scalable and provides the greatest amount of flexibility to both students and faculty. Recording workflows are simple for faculty and can even be automatically scheduled to happen without any intervention at all by the faculty. (e.g. recordings automatically scheduled, automatically upload to NIU video platform (Kaltura), automatically made available to students in Blackboard course). See the following for more info about lecture capture and the technical solutions for lecture capture at NIU.

At this time, given the scale at which we need to deploy solutions across 100+ classrooms and the time and fiscal time constraints we face, lecture capture is the default available solution for classrooms where an alternative to face-to-face lectures is needed for students that can’t physically attend in-person.

For more details or to discuss further lecture capture for your course, reach out to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, citl@niu.edu.

Get Help

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-797-2477
Email: citl@niu.edu

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