student making notes about online lecture

Raiding the Treasure Trove:

Compiling and re-using the ‘best of’ previous lecture recordings

You have done a lot of work preparing and delivering lectures over the years, and they are still sitting in your Echo360 Library. Why not capitalise on this for content, when catering for remote online cohorts?

The pressures of teaching and research can make it difficult for busy academics to do the work of refashioning previous videos that contain worthwhile content, however there are some simple strategies and methods that may at least start the ball rolling!

In a recent workshop for the Research School of Psychology on ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’ co-designed and run by the Education Design team at the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT), Associate Professor Davies shared her experience in re-using content from previous recorded lectures.

In Anne’s talk about her ‘journey of discovery’ below, she shared her process for using Echo360 and its editing tool, as well as Collections.

In addition to breaking down previous recordings into meaningful topics, Anne added interactive elements, using the activity slides available on Echo360 to create some quiz questions. These are some of her suggestions:

  • Add activity slides with quiz questions at the end of a video.
  • Enable the Q&A in Echo and then encourage students to ask questions and/or discuss the material in the video.
  • Use the embedded polls in Echo360. Edit the video from your library, and add polls (quiz, polling or survey questions, or free text field answers) at intervals on the actual video timeline.

Why cut up lecture videos and re-use them?

Feedback from students in some ANU Schools and Colleges about their Semester 1, 2020 experiences, indicated that they miss social interaction opportunities with both their peers and lecturers in face-to-face lectures held on campus. As a result, in a situation of remote and online learning due to the pandemic, they preferred livestreamed lectures to unedited pre-recorded lectures, in the online environment.  At least they could still communicate in real time with each other and with tutors/lecturers.   Previous years’ recorded lectures placed unedited in their course site as content, did not generally go down well, with feelings of boredom or of being overwhelmed as common responses. 

The response to unedited pre-recorded long lecture videos reflects the wider research on student experience – long videos do not get watched, and any more than 10 minutes is too much to take in within an online disembodied learning environment. Where lecturers complemented recorded lectures with interactive learning exercises, group discussions and live Zoom question and answer sessions, the feedback was positive.

So how can you engage students in the material that you, the expert in your field, can present to them? Associate Professor Davies’ example gives us some practical tips for using Echo tools:

  • Use Echo360 editing tool to take excerpts from your previous recorded lectures, choosing the most relevant content, and stitching together video clips with related content.
  • Create ‘Collections’ in Echo360 with topic names and add the re-purposed video clips beneath the topic.
  • Add interactions using Echo360 interactive slides
  • Identify the critical learning moments, and select footage around these.
  • Add in some interactive activities, such as a reflection, a discussion forum or a quiz to make it even more engaging, and to encourage more inquiry and deeper learning.

Want to know how to use these Echo360 tools?
Need help to use Wattle tools for interaction and engagement?
The Educational Design team at CLT can help – contact

December 2020

Associate Professor Anne Aimola Davies is from the ANU Research School of Psychology, ANU College of Health & Medicine

Jill Lyall is an Education Designer in the Education Design (ED) team – one of three teams within the  ANU Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT).