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Explorations in course‐casting: podcasts in higher education

Sarah Bryans Bongey (The College of St Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, USA)
Gerald Cizadlo (The College of St Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, USA)
Lynn Kalnbach (The College of St Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, USA)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 1 October 2006

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the benefits, challenges, and impact of podcasting in higher education and also to provide educators with anecdotal and practical advice and information on how to create and distribute podcasts.

Design/methodology/approach

In support of a traditional college course, a biology professor implemented podcasts to explore the value of coursecasting and its role in student learning. Direct observation, attendance counts, and server statistics supplement a survey that was distributed to 246 students involved in the project. Five survey questions focused on whether the podcasts affected the students' attendance of class, students' preferences for listening to and processing of lecture material, and students' perceptions of the academic impact associated with the podcast availability.

Findings

Taken together, the responses to the main questions from the survey and the student self‐reported comments strongly suggest that having podcast lectures available to students does not lead to large declines in class attendance. For the specific courses that were examined by this survey, students overwhelmingly preferred the actual lectures to the recorded podcasts. In addition, the large majority of students were using the podcasts to increase their understanding of material covered in specific lectures. All of these findings seem to indicate that students perceive the podcasts as really useful additional resources available to help them succeed in their courses rather than as a substitute for more traditional methods of learning.

Practical implications

In addition to research‐based findings on the podcasts' positive impact on the teaching and learning process, this paper provides practical, “how‐to” information on the creation of podcasts.

Originality/value

This study describes experiences and presents original research relating to the podcasting of college biology lectures. Research and observations respond to the question of whether podcasts detract from the educational process. For the prospective podcaster, this paper also shares specific methods, strategies, and how‐to information involved in the creation of an academic podcast.

Keywords

Citation

Bryans Bongey, S., Cizadlo, G. and Kalnbach, L. (2006), "Explorations in course‐casting: podcasts in higher education", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 350-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650740610714107

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited