Exploring medical student decisions regarding attending live lectures and using recorded lectures

Med Teach. 2013 Sep;35(9):767-71. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.801940. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Background: Student decisions about lecture attendance are based on anticipated effect on learning. Factors involved in decision-making, the use of recorded lectures and their effect on lecture attendance, all warrant investigation.

Aim: This study was designed to identify factors in student decisions to attend live lectures, ways in which students use recorded lectures, and if their use affects live lecture attendance.

Methods: A total of 213 first (M1) and second year (M2) medical students completed a survey about lecture attendance, and rated factors related to decisions to attend live lectures and to utilize recorded lectures. Responses were analyzed overall and by class year and gender.

Results: M1 attended a higher percentage of live lectures than M2, while both classes used the same percentage of recorded lectures. Females attended more live lectures, and used a smaller percentage of recorded lectures. The lecturer was a key in attendance decisions. Also considered were the subject and availability of other learning materials. Students use recorded lectures as replacement for live lectures and as supplement to them.

Conclusions: Lectures, both live and recorded, are important for student learning. Decisions about lecture placement in the curriculum need to be based on course content and lecturer quality.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Technology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Video Recording