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Friday, April 19, 2024

UC Davis launches Lecture Capture Student Assistant program

The program allows students to record in-person lectures for those who cannot attend class 

By ISABELLA KRZESNIAK campus@theaggie.org

In response to requests from students and faculty, several units of the campus administration are working to implement the Lecture Capture Student Assistant (LCSA) program, which hires student employees to record lectures for instructors. The program was first briefly mentioned in Chancellor Gary May’s email to students about returning to in-person instruction on Jan. 24. One-hundred-seventy lecturers have requested lecture capture assistants, and an employment survey has been sent to over 13,000 students, as of Feb. 1.

Fourth-year animal biology major Kimberly Aguirre applied for the job after seeing a survey for one of her classes.

“I wanted to do it because I thought it would be a good way to make a little more money,” Aguirre said. “I’m going to be starting grad school in the fall, so I won’t be able to work as much as I am able to right now.”

Students are expected to attend class, record lectures and upload their recordings at an hourly rate of $15.25.

Gabriela Tsudik, the chair of the Academic Affairs Commission, feels that implementing the program is a critical action item for ASUCD.

“If professors catch [COVID-19 or] students miss class […] and there’s no option for lecture recording, that can be up to two weeks of them not having access to lectures,” Tsudik said. “It’s definitely going to be a problem.”

Tsudik discussed lecture capture with the Academic Senate.

“Basically, we’re under-resourced, and we can’t require professors to record lectures even if they do have lecture capture available in the classroom,” Tsudik said.

After completing a short training course, students can start working. Since Aguirre applied, she said she has received little information on the work she will be doing.

“They were lagging a bit in getting back to us in terms of when onboarding was going to start and what to expect,” Aguirre said. “The expectations are a bit vague in general, which I didn’t really like.”

Physics professor Erfan Nourbakhsh opted in to the program but has yet to work with any student assistants to record lectures.

“I actually started recording everything myself because I didn’t have access to that program,” Nourbakhsh said. “Someone who can take care of this separately would be very helpful.”

According to Jason Stewart, the assistant director of Budget and Institutional Analysis for UC Davis, LCSA has been a collaborative effort.

“Many people in multiple offices are working as quickly as possible to get this new program up and running,” Stewart said.

Tsudik said she believes that, ideally, lecture capture would be mandatory for all instructors.

“I think […] the general student population does wish it was required,” Tsudik said. “Obviously it’s not feasible if lecture capture is not available, [or] professors catch [COVID-19], it’s going to be difficult. I think students are realizing this is a big issue.”

Written by: Isabella Krzesniak — campus@theaggie.org

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