2. When the in-room AV installation is elaborate
Certain subjects—such as math, science, and business17—often demand more teaching accoutrements than would be part of a standard lecture capture setup. These peripherals would thus consider the in-class PC or professor laptop, as well as additional document cameras, auto-tracking PTZ cameras, PowerPoint presentations, Blu-ray Disc™ or DVD player, microphones, projectors, interactive whiteboards, and more9,18. General-purpose PC-based solutions possess certain benefits; however, they do come with particular downsides, which include limited flexibility to incorporate multiple inputs or peripherals. Depending on the nature and physical accessibility of the provided PC, educators and administrators might be troubled—or worse, cause trouble—by configuring the software as they attempt to connect peripherals16,19.
A dedicated hardware appliance is much easier to support; “set and forget” appliances need only be configured once—the state of that appliance does not change. Multiple sources—whether peripheral devices, document cameras, or others—can be connected to a dedicated hardware appliance seamlessly, eliminating the learning curve associated with new technologies and with minimal concern for interrupting the flow of the class16,18,20. Lecture capture hardware appliances with centralized monitoring tools further facilitate the coordination and maintenance of all connected hardware, with the ability to pinpoint and correct issues, such as network connectivity problems or the status of inputs, at a distance9,16,21. Moreover, such tools allow dedicated appliances to be pre-programmed with scheduled events, so that, when powered-up, the appliance will automatically check pre-loaded events and execute them—even if the event’s start time has passed.
In mixed-modality settings, dedicated lecture capture appliances add great value, facilitating transitions between lecture and in-class activities5. Take, for example, Florida’s Stetson University, which offers a unique training program organized around innovative sales training facilities that enable students to hone their sales skills and practice role-play scenarios, supported by an exemplary lecture capture installation22.