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Can podcasting be used as an effective component of online learning?

Liz Bennett, Cheryl Reynolds
University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK

Introduction

This poster describes and analyses a small scale project set in the context of a Foundation Degree in e-learning at the University of Huddersfield. Podcasts were used to support the delivery of a module on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in Education. The aim was to explore whether, in this context, podcasting could be an effective component of online learning. In particular, the project asked:
1. Do students like listening to educational podcasts?
2. Do students learn from using podcasts?

The module was taught over three months with six students in year two of their foundation degree.

Method

The project used an action research framework. It examined the ways that podcasts could be used to within a constructivist framework (Laurillard, 2002) so that rather than simply listening to something once or perhaps more than once, students were provided with text based materials which focussed them by providing them with tasks related to what they were listening to.

Evaluation used Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom, 1956) to analyse the levels of learning demonstrated by students during their engagement in discussion board activities related to the podcast and other, text based, learning activities.

Results

The findings showed that whilst there were some neutral and negative responses to podcasting, there was a significant tendency towards positive perceptions. In response to question two, do student learn from using podcasts, no significant difference was noted between the frequency of learning occurring at the different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy for podcasted and text-based delivery. Surprisingly however the project found that students did not like the use of worksheets to accompany the podcast.

Conclusion

This poster presents:
• the findings or the project in the form of two charts,
• an outline of the stages for producing a podcast,
• a screen shot to show how the podcasts are syndicated,
• images of users with mobile devices listening to podcasts in a range of settings.