Facilitating the use of recorded lectures:
Analysing students' interactions to understand their navigational needs

PhD research into the use of recorded lectures by students and how we can facilitate effective use.

  1. How do students use recorded lectures according to their self-report?
  2. What actual usage of the recorded lectures can we derive from the data on the system, and does that match with what students report?
  3. How can we facilitate the use of recorded lectures by students using expert tagging and tagging by the students themselves?

This PhD research was financially supported by the STIP fund of Fontys Hogescholen and facilitated by the Eindhoven School of Education (Eindhoven University of Technology).
Cover design: Vladimir Simonjan (http://vydesign.nl/)


Ever since the start of the information and communication technology (ICT) era, universities and educational institutions all over the world have strived to incorporate its use into their pallet of instructional methods. The use of video, be it in the form of television broadcasts, DVDs or as video over the internet, has long been one of the important manifestations of the search for attractive learning materials that can be used independent of time and place.
The recording and broadcasting of lectures has been an important solution for distance education. But more and more, universities enhance parts of their courses aimed at on-campus students with online video components and lecture recordings. They do this to allow students to review lectures at their own pace and at a time and place of their choosing. With this increase in use, the main research question for this PhD research became increasingly more relevant:

The research was conducted at two of institutions in the higher education sector in the Netherland, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).
There is previous research into this question, but studies show various shortcomings, such as lack of focus, meaning that the uses, technology and user groups were combined in a way that made it difficult to apply the results to our own situation. To establish some common ground, the dissertation starts with a description of a framework that more accurately determines the context of the research.
The main question raised a number of subsidiary questions:

The use of recorded lectures by students at the two institutions was studied using a survey and semi-structured interviews. Then the data collected by the Lecture Capture System was taken and processed into a dataset that allowed us to analyse the actual usage of the recorded lectures by the students. That data was then triangulated with the data from the survey and the semi-structured interviews.
We also looked at improving the navigational support of the use of recorded lectures by offering tags that could be used to directly access specific parts of the recorded lecture. We investigated both the use of expert tagging and of tags created by the students themselves.

More details about the main conclusions are available in the dissertation and will be presented during the public defense.


Pierre Gorissen was born on 20 February 1970 in Beek, the Netherlands. After completing his master’s degree in Business Informatics, he completed a master’s degree in Business Economics and a certification as a fully qualified teacher at the University of Tilburg in 1994.
He started his career at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in 1994 at the predecessor of the current Fontys International Business School in Venlo, teaching both Dutch and German students in a number of Business Informatics-related courses.
In 2000, he assumed a position as a consultant for the Educational and Research department at Fontys in Eindhoven. He was involved in a wide variety of projects, like the introduction of the virtual learning environment, interactive whiteboards, virtual worlds, videoconferencing, electronic books and weblectures. During this time he worked part time as an educational technologist at the Open University in the Netherlands (2003-2004), where he participated in various European projects; he was Project Manager Learning Technology at SURF (2002 – 2009) and was, on their behalf, involved in the development of learning technology specifications within the IMS Global Learning Consortium. He was also Innovation Advisor at SURFnet (2010 – 2011) and a member of the Dutch NEN Norm committee for learning technology (2002 – 2010).
Facilitated by the Fontys STIP professionalization project, he started his PhD project at the beginning of 2009 at the Eindhoven School of Education which he succesfully completed in 2013.
In 2015, Pierre accepted a position as Senior Researcher at the iXperium / Centre of Expertice Learning with ICT at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen.
Pierre can be contacted via mail: Pierre.Gorissen at HAN.nl

Pierre blogs about IT and Education at: http://ictoblog.nl/ (in Dutch)


If you are looking for a copy of the dissertation in PDF format, it can be downloaded from the TU/e Repository.
All chapters are published as individual articles, listed below.

Propositions (stellingen):

The propositions advanced in the dissertation are available only in Dutch:

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

Conference proceedings:

Conference contributions (without proceedings)

Public Defense

In the Netherlands, every doctoral dissertation has to be approved/supported by a supervisor (full university professor who has the role of principal adviser, 'promotor') and usually one or more co-supervisors before it is submitted for review by a core committee of three or four experts (usually other university professors). Only after they approve the submitted dissertation, the dissertation is printed and distributed and a date for a public defense is set.
During the public defence, the doctoral candidate gives a short, 10 minute summary of the research ('lekenpraatje') for the people present. After that presentation, the members of the Doctorate Committee in turn oppose by asking the candidate questions. The doctoral candidate is often accompanied by seconds ('paranifmen') seated behind the doctoral candidate.
The session lasts exactly the assigned time slot (1 hour in this case) after which the defense is stopped by the beadle ('pedel') who interrupts ongoing questioning by entering the room and announcing in Latin that the time is past ('Hora est'). At this stage the candidate is allowed to stop the defense even midsentence, although in practice a short one sentence wrap up is usually given. If one of the members of the Doctorate Committee is still phrasing a question, no answer will be given.
The chairman of the Doctorate Committee asks the doctoral candidate to take a seat in the hall and announces that the Committee will retire to deliberate further, whereupon the Committee leaves the hall. After their deliberations are complete the Committee, preceded by the beadle, returns to the hall. The doctoral degree is awarded at the end of the session. Failure during this session is in theory possible but in practice this never happens.
In the Netherlands, although there is no such thing as a PhD degree, the official title doctor (dr.) is informally often replaced by the internationally more common acronym PhD.

Members of the Doctorate Committee:

The public defense took place on Wednesday 12th june 2013, 16:00 in room 4 of the Auditorium at the Eindhoven University of Technology

Pictures from the room during the technical try-out a week before:
Technische try-out Technische try-out Technische try-out Technische try-out

And during/afterwards:
dr. Pierre Gorissen Promotie

Video summary of the defense, created by Vic Peeters:

The presentation file used during the defense (in Dutch):


Full list of the references included in the dissertation: