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Yeahright's avatar

Technology: What is the best way to record a lecture/class?

Asked by Yeahright (2748points) October 9th, 2012

I am taking a 3-hour class once a week and would like to record the class rather than take notes.

What device/gadget/software do you suggest I use?

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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7 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Your phone is probably the best tool for the job. But if you don’t have one (or have one of those old flip-phones), you can get a recorder. My wife uses this to record lectures.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Make sure the class Instructor / Professor approves the use of recorders in class some do and some do not. The recorder @tom_g has looks like it would be great unit.

majorrich's avatar

The portable voice recorder is a great idea, and I even talked one of my professors into putting it into his shirt pocket for me. :) @Tropical_Willie is right though, Some professors are pretty fussy about recording their lectures. but are usually pretty good if you have a good line like you don’t hear well or something like that.

wundayatta's avatar

If feasible, I would video the lecture. There are going to be many ambiguous words on an audio recording, and if you watch the video, you can often figure out what is being said. You have to ask your professor if he minds, and then you’d have to have a tripod for the camera that you can set in a corner somewhere with a good sight line.

You might back this up with an audio recording from the front of the class, so you get better sound. I would download a recorder app to your smartphone and leave the phone on the podium during the lecture, if possible. Or have the professor carry it around, as @majorrich suggested.

But if those things are not possible, you can record from your own desk or pocket, and no one need be any the wiser.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I’d say phone is the way to go…but if you do get a laptop in there, then a portable webcam (not inbuilt cause they can be sketchy at best), and possibly something like Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio is a good program, even though it costs money – it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
If you’re just going for audio recording, depends on your phone, but I have a voice recorder app for my phone, which picks up pretty much everything that needs to be picked up.

wundayatta's avatar

I use the tapemachine app on my phone and it works very well. The compression could be a bit more effective, but it does a pretty darn good job. I have friends who listen to my recordings over and over from the phone. That amazes me.

Cridaria's avatar

I use an Olympus digital recorder on a tripod. Expensive , but very, very clear.
I have not used one, but you can write with a Livescribe pen that also records and will go back to the place in your notes if you need to listen to that particular part of the lecture. Link here:

The phone idea means you need a small tripod (and permission), unless you want to sit there in class with your hand in the air for an hour or more.

You can also change the way you take notes. Some find that writing in a tree diagram (think MindMapping) works well for them. You do not need to recall EVERYTHING do you? Gadgets are cool, but cost money.

Check out Moleskine notebooks. Recently they are introducing a version that works with Evernote (checked- does not seem available yet), so you will be able to take a photo of your notes and make a digital, searchable database. This works really well.

Can you borrow before you buy something? One thing is clear from all this advice: different things work for different people. You need to find what works just for you, hopefully before you spend money.

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