Lecture recordings - domestic and international student comparison

Are teaching resources and lecture recordings equally useful to domestic and international students?

School: Edinburgh Medical School

Team Members: Alan Jaap, Avril Dewar, David Hope


Fairness is an essential component of education. Performance should be determined only by candidate ability. Despite this, confounding factors influence success on assessment. The tendency for candidates to perform differently according to age, sex, ethnicity, language status, nationality or other background characteristics is known as Differential Attainment (DA).

DA affects access to and performance in higher education and the University of Edinburgh is unlikely to be exempt from this. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh Medical School have undertaken an extensive programme of work internally and, with postgraduate licensing bodies, externally, to evaluate potential causes of DA in assessment. Far less is known about the aspects of the teaching and learning environment which cause DA. Here, we will investigate what students in two groups – domestic and international students – expect from teaching resources and what difficulties they have using them. These resources include VLE pages, videos, guides, and lecture recordings. The attainment gap among domestic and international students is well known and has been discussed elsewhere, so it is useful to compare these groups.

If students struggle to utilise resources because of prior training, experience, or familiarity with language and context, they will find the experience of learning and assessment more difficult.

We will interview international and domestic students to identify how learning resources – especially lecture recordings – can be improved to support learning, improve student satisfaction and preparation for assessment. We will evaluate any potential unfairness to underrepresented groups, using international students as a starting point.

Final project report

Download final report (PDF)