Audio & Podcasting
Make your voice heard.
What are Audio & Podcasting?
Audio, including podcasting, is one form of content that can be added to a course. Podcasting is a specific method of delivering audio content over the web. It is typically episodic, talk-focused, and delivered or syndicated with one or many popular distribution services, such as iTunes or Stitcher. Podcasting became popular along with Apple iTunes and iPods (hence “pod” in the name) but now refers broadly to any audio content that is delivered primarily over the web. The term can safely refer to any series of audio pieces that might be part of a course.
A major reason that podcasting has gained in popularity as both a platform for content and a tool for students is its “simplicity and ease of use” (Educause, 2005). It is also well-suited to asynchronous online environments, including flipped classrooms. Students creating their own podcasts can allow for independent inquiry, as well as for collaboration. Forbes and Khoo (2015) found that asking students to generate content and resources like podcasts values student voice, active involvement and co-construction of learning.
How Can I Use Audio or Podcasting in My Course?
- Weekly course recaps
- Short topic based content lectures
- Course Q&A
- Interviews with guest speakers or experts in the field
- Roundtable discussions
- Accessibility for low level readers
- Music appreciation or analysis
- Student demonstrations of foreign language ability or pronunciation
- Student group discussions
- Student performance of written work
Many of the above applications could also be done in written form or video form, but podcasting can offer an advantage by focusing student attention on language use and core content, rather than visuals. It can also occupy a niche in many students’ existing media diets. (Stat of % of students who regularly listen to podcasts)
Questions and Considerations
Creating a podcast can be incredibly simple, or range into level of high quality production. The first goal is to determine your audience. Is it only directed at your students in this semester, or do you want them to live on in future course offerings? Will the content be institution specific or do you want it to have broader appeal to students worldwide studying your discipline?
You should also determine what the bounds of your podcast are going to be. Before recording anything, you should decide:
- Will you be doing it alone or will you have other participants?
- How often will you release new podcasts? (be realistic!)
- Will you want other audio in addition to your voice (such as music or other audio to consult)
- How long will each podcast be?
At the very least, you’ll need an external microphone and a Mac or PC to record on. It’s also possible to use a mobile device, but in that case you will need a quality microphone and an editing program.
- USB Mic for quality audio recording: Samson and Yeti brand mics are reliable and widely used.
- After recording, Audacity is excellent for powerful, free, audio editing.
Forbes, D. & Khoo, E. (2015). Voice over distance: a case of podcasting for learning in online teacher education. Distance Education 36(3), 335-350.
Lee, M., McLoughlin, C. & Chan, A. (2008). Talk the talk: Learner-generated podcasts as catalystsfor knowledge creation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 501-521.
McGarr, O. (2009). A review of podcasting in higher education: Its influence on the traditional lecture. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(3), 309-321.
Fundamentals of Graphics, Animation, Audio, and Video for the WebTaught by Christen Bouffard, this course includes Tutorials and a Resources section, both available across the site via the main menu. The course’s weekly lessons are also thorough and clearly organized.
Watch: Podcasting in the Classroom
UAF Instructional Designers
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