Monday, August 25, 2008

Podcasting Lectures: Friend or Foe

Podcasting of lectures has been the most common use of broadcasting and archiving educational content using media files. "Enhanced podcasts" are growing in popularity because listeners can also view the lecture content, such as PowerPoint slides, while listening to the lecture.

As more students listen to podcasts of their lectures, will this make them less likely to attend lectures? Is this an issue that professors should worry about as they decide to podcast their lectures? Or are we starting to sound like our predecessors who worried if radio would replace the book, if TV would replace the radio, or if CDs would replace LPs?

Below is a presentation by educators at the University of Bath in the U.K. Slide16 through the end of the presentation cover reasons why enhanced podcasts can enhance learning.

There is no denying that some students will be even less motivated to attend lectures because they can view them online. But the benefits outweigh the risks.

As of Aug 2008, there are 52 articles, dating back to December 2005, that mention podcasts.

Here's the most recent article specifically targeting podcasts for undergraduate medical students:

Pilarski, PP, Alan Johnstone, D, Pettepher, CC, et al. (2008). From music to macromolecules: using rich media/podcast lecture recordings to enhance the preclinical educational experience. Medical teacher, 30(6), 630-2.

I also blogged early this year about an article that looked at how podcasting lectures influenced student in-person attendance. Time will tell us what becomes of all this podcasting. But there's no doubt that podcasting will evolve to find its place in education.