According to statistics that were shared by Psychotactics, students can retain as much as four times more information when they use audio-visual content compared to simply sitting through a lecture. What is more, research has also revealed that by practicing active listening, you can also boost your productivity. To do this, you need to pay careful attention to what your lecturer is saying, something that is very hard to do if you have to make your notes during the lecture.
So, when you consider this, it makes sense why students should consider starting to record class lectures instead. Recording class lectures enable students to listen actively to their lecturer during class, instead of worrying that much about writing down every word. They can then go over their notes at a later time that would be more convenient for them and even refer to the recording to clarify difficult concepts or to quote their lecturer correctly.
Nowadays practically every student has at least one smart device. Plus, thanks to the variety of voice recorder apps that are currently available, it has become really simple to record your lectures.
Though, it is not only students who can (and should) take advantage of this technology. In fact, there are many lecturers who share the recordings of their lectures with students. They realize that a recording of a lecture can help their students to reach the objectives easier.
Firstly, you must pay attention to the copyright laws and other policies that could have an impact on whether or not you are allowed to record lectures. After all, you have your whole career ahead of you that you do not want to deal with legal issues before it has even started.
That being said, unfortunately, the answer as to whether or not you are allowed to record lectures legally is not always as straightforward. In order to be allowed to make an audio recording of a class lecture, you will need to get the green light beforehand.
The reality is that some lecturers are actually against it. The institution or lecturer owns the copyright for any recording of their lecture. That being said, in instances where the student has a disability, permission will be granted (though, they still need to follow the right procedure to obtain permission).
Lecturers can also use their judgment to allow students to make recordings of their lectures on the condition that it will only be used to help them with their personal learning experience. In other words, the recording is not meant to be distributed.
So, in short, always first ask if you may record a lecture before you hit that record button on your smart device. The best policy is simply to be honest, and upfront about your intentions.
Once you have permission to record a lecture, you need to find the right app or tool to record lectures. One of the tools and apps that you can check out is the voice recorder app by Rev. It is available for free on Google Pay or the Apple App Store. If you only use an iPhone, you can also use Voice Memos to record lectures. Although it is a very basic built-in app, you can use it for free which is something that students will appreciate since college is expensive enough as it is. And another benefit is that it would be easy enough to transcribe iPhone Voice Memos to text afterward.
The best way to record lectures is to make sure that you get your gear ready and identify the best location in the classroom. When you prepare your equipment, you need to make sure that you have fully charged your battery and that you have remembered to free up some storage space on your device. If you have a full day ahead with many lectures that you would like to record, be sure to take along another battery or a portable charger if you will be using your smartphone or laptop. It is also a good idea to have an extra SD card.
With regards to the best place to sit, unfortunately now is not the time to hide away at the back. If you want to get a high-quality audio recording, the best place to sit is in front. Then, before you hit the record button, remember first to record a short test sample just to double-check that everything is in fact in working condition.
Once you have your high-quality audio recording, you can then use a tool like Audext that can transcribe it for you in just a few steps. In short, all you need to do is upload your audio recording and Audext audio transcription software will use artificial intelligence (AI) to convert the recording into text.
This step is key as it can become very frustrating having to replay close to an hour of audio (if not more) just to find a specific formula, term or definition. So, the most convenient would be if you have a written copy of the audio recording of the lecture. What is more, if you have the transcript in digital format, you can use the search feature to look up specific words, dates, etc.
While it can be great to record lectures, it is still a good idea to jot down notes. You can even go as far as to add a timestamp to your notes occasionally. Then, if you were so clever as to get the recording transcribed, you can compare your notes to the actual transcript.
While recording your lectures can be beneficial, you should guard against relying solely on your audio recording. To make sure that you use it optimally, make sure that you use transcription software, like Audext, to transcribe the recording.
The perk of having a transcript in addition to the recording is that you can look up information much quicker. Recording class lectures should never replace actively participating in class discussions, listening attentively and taking your notes. Lastly, whatever you do, always remember to get permission first!
Katin runs her own podcast show, and interested in best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.