Battle for the Lecture-capture Market Heats Up

As higher ed technology leaders convene today in Anaheim for the annual meeting of Educause, the battle for the lecture-capture market is growing more intense—and the definition of the market may be changing as well.

At Educause a year ago, there was still debate regarding how to win over faculty members skeptical of lecture capture—a service in which class lectures are recorded and preserved in a digital library, frequently with additional materials such as relevant slides, quizzes or summaries. This year, the pre-meeting buzz has been less about debating whether lecture capture will take off than over which companies and which approaches are mostly likely to succeed. Some lecture-capture companies are aligning themselves with big publishers—while others say they are content not to.

One publisher-lecture capture partnership—Macmillan and Panopto—will today announce a plan to start pushing a business model in which individual faculty members would be sold on lecture capture and pass on the costs to students in the form of a low-cost licensing fee ($10 per student per course). The professors would assign a lecture capture purchase much the same way a textbook is assigned. While some in the industry see this as a way to expand lecture capture quickly beyond institutions that will pay for institution-wide licenses, others question whether this could anger students, and in turn frustrate professors who want to use the technology.

The Macmillan/Panopto push (which is a collaboration, not a merger or purchase) comes a week after McGraw-Hill Education purchased Tegrity, a lecture-capture company. . . .

The companies involved in lecture capture did tens of millions of dollars of business with higher education in the last year, and are expecting significant growth for the next five years, as more faculty members and more institutions embrace the concept.

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