Skills Hub

Using lecture recordings

Many of the lecture theatres and seminar rooms at Sussex now have recording equipment so that your lecturers can record their lecture and post it on Study Direct for you to review later. Lecture recordings are not a replacement for attending your lectures - you will miss out if you don't attend in person. Here are some tips for how you can make the most of your lecture recordings.

How will recordings help me with my learning?

The best way to use lecture recordings is to do something active with the information, as this will help you to understand and remember the topic.  Just playing back the recording and listening to the whole lecture again will take a long time and is unlikely to be very helpful.

Here are some active ways you can use lecture recordings:

  • Fill in gaps in your lecture notes, if you missed any important points or if the lecturer referred to something that you want to follow up (make a note to yourself in the lecture so you can quickly find the right place in the recording).
  • Use recordings to answer questions that you have after the lecture (note questions as they come to you during the lecture).
  • Revisit complicated concepts to improve your understanding.
  • Your lecturer may include activities or example problems in the lecture that you can work through using the recording.
  • Watch sections of the recording together with a friend and discuss the key themes.
  • Your lecturer may refer to articles or further reading and you can use the recording to quickly find the reference rather than having to note it all down during the lecture.
  • As you listen try to make links between concepts or topics from previous lectures/seminars - think critically about how they compare and where they differ.


Lecture recordings are a great tool for revision or for when you are completing a written submission on a topic. They allow you to fully concentrate in your lectures and really think about what your lecturer is saying and how you can apply it to your work. (Bethan Hunt, Education Officer, Sussex Students' Union) 

How can recordings help international students?

  • When doing your pre-lecture reading make sure you look up new vocabulary and also look up pronunciation and other parts of speech so that you can recognise the vocab in the lecture.
  • Familiarise yourself with your lecturers' structural style by listening back to the lecture and looking out for their particular signposting language. This will help you to follow their future lectures. 

How can recordings improve my note making?

Even though your lectures are recorded it's a good idea to still make notes during the lecture. Making notes helps you to check you've understood the lecture, it helps you to remember the topic when notes are in your own words and you can use your notes for assignments and revision. For more tips on note making take a look at the guidance on taking notes in lectures.

With lecture recordings it can be tempting to type a word-for-word account of the lecture - this is not a good idea! Transcribing your lectures will take you a really long time when you could be doing much more useful things instead!

Some active note making suggestions:

  • Leave space in your notes for your own questions
  • Try different note making styles
  • Use images, pictures, diagram or highlighters to make your notes memorable
  • Test your understanding by summarising the key points from your lecture.
  • Ask questions: How does what you've learnt fit with what you already know about the topic? Did anything surprise you?
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