Lecture Recordings

During the height of the Covid pandemic, lecture recordings and livestreams were the only way that professors were still able to deliver lectures to us students. Now, with the campus open again and lectures resuming their in-person format, a debate has sprung up around whether or not lecture recordings should still be provided.

by Polykum Redaktion

Surely you remember the welcome email from the rectorate at the beginning of this semester, which emphasised that ETH sees itself as a presence university and wants to have a lively campus life.

Many students, as well as lecturers, understood this as a strong discouragement of lecture recordings. Many of you reached out to us and shared your dissatisfaction and feedback. Many thanks for this!

We collected your arguments and met some of you in personally to discuss more intensively. The lively discussion was especially helpful for our conversation with the Rector Prof. Dissertori. As representatives of all students, we have the opportunity to talk to the Rector and his staff once a month, and at the very first meeting on 4 October, lecture recordings were the main topic. There we were able to clarify the position of the rectorate: there was never any discussion of discouraging or even banning lecture recordings, the rectorate merely withdrew the strong recommendation that was in place during the Covid semesters. Now, lecturers can decide for themselves whether and to what extent they want to offer recordings of their lectures. Only for first-year lectures, the strong re- commendation from the rectorate remains.

We particularly advocated for the problem of double enrolments (in German “Doppel- belegungen”) to be recognised by the rectorate as a structural problem and not as a voluntary choice by students. Unfortunately, it is still the case that many study programmes suffer from overlapping schedules for compulsory subjects or parallel electives, which thus exclude certain combinations of lectures. One cannot expect students to be in two different places at once, which is why the structural double enrolment is one of the strongest arguments for lecture recordings.

Even though the conversation with the rectorate was quite fruitful, the issue wasn’t quite resolved yet. We organised an Insta-Live between Emir and the Rector Prof. Dissertori together with the ETH Communications (Hochschulkommunika- tion) to give you all the opportunity to ask questions directly to the Rector. The fact that the Rector clarified the situation both in the Con- ference of the Directors of Study and in the Rector’s Newsletter shows that he takes the topic seriously. He specifically emphasised how much we students appreciate the recordings.

From our side, we also continued to work on the topic at VSETH. At the university politics (HoPo) weekend, which takes place once a semester, there was a workshop on concrete actions that study association HoPos can take to advocate for lecture recordings at their departments. Furthermore, one of the main topics of our last HoPo roundtables was, among other things, the digital future of teaching at ETH.

In the long term, we will work for you in the working group “Teaching and Learning at ETH 2040” for more digitalisation in teaching.

The issue of lecture recordings is still very important to us, and we will therefore continue to work to ensure that they are as widely available as possible to us students at ETH.

The use of lecture recordings was also topic at this year’s HoPo weekend.

See you around, your VSETH HoPo

by Léa Le Bars

You may also like