Exactly a year ago, we were notified that due to COVID, we would transition to teaching our course remotely. I already had quite a bit of experience teaching online, and I knew that pedagogically, delivering the same content just over Zoom is going to be a train wreck. Teaching case studies over Zoom seemed a bit like shouting into the mouth of a cave. You just don’t. I rented a good camera, scripted my class, and recorded around 30 hours of content. I was embedding quizzes and exercises every few minutes, ensuring the content sticks. I still scheduled live sessions to answer questions and review class content, but I felt pretty good about the quick pivot from in-person to online.
The preference for live sessions might also be a form of signalling and desire for a more exclusive/authentic experience. The signal comes from getting the professor's actual "live" time, even if production quality is lower. Also, top professors might already have video content that is easy for anyone to access, while getting to attend a "live" Gad Allon class is much more exclusive, even if over Zoom. Furthermore, there might be an identity aspect to this as well, for even if all of your courses were fully available in recorded format, someone who took all of those would probably never identify as "one of Gad's former students."