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iTunes U: an opportunity for students

Lisa Germany (Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that, with a bit of creative thinking, elements of certain university‐wide projects (in this case study, establishing an iTunes U site) can be incorporated into student studies and assessment as real‐world learning opportunities.


Describes three different approaches adopted by Swinburne University of Technology to provide real‐world learning opportunities for its students through its project to establish an iTunes U presence. Highlights the problems encountered with these approaches and what Swinburne would do differently to overcome these issues.


iTunes U provides a real opportunity for showcasing student work and talent beyond the university. The key to success lies in embedding what you want the students to do deeply within assessment processes to ensure the work provides a relevant and valid learning experience. Part of this is establishing a realistic client‐service‐provider relationship with the students.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on the observations and anecdotal feedback given to the content coordinator for iTunes U at Swinburne. Future research should seek ethics clearance so that students and staff can be interviewed about their experiences in more depth.

Practical implications

This paper offers advice to other institutions looking to engage students in broader university projects, through integration with coursework.


Hundreds of universities have iTunes U sites, or are exploring the use of iTunes U and/or YouTube. Ideas for how to successfully involve students in these broader university initiatives will be of interest to all these institutes.



Germany, L. (2011), "iTunes U: an opportunity for students", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 175-182.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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