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Podcasting at the University of Hertfordshire Alan Hilliard

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1 Podcasting at the University of Hertfordshire Alan Hilliard

2 Presentation Outline Background to Podcasting Staff Development Workshops –Blended Learning Unit How might podcasts be used?

3 What is Podcasting? Podcasting : iPod (MP3 player) and Broadcasting What does it mean? a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player, New Oxford American Dictionary BUT… But you DONT need an iPod In fact – you DONT need an MP3 player

4 The technology is NOT new …but is MORE accessible. Easy to… –Create –Publish (i.e. upload to a website) –Subscribe and –Listen (on MP3 players) at home, driving, exercising, waiting for buses – the Dead time. Mobile learning: when they want, how they want and where they want.

5 How does it work? Staff – Record using digital voice recorder (MP3 format) – Upload (publish) to MLE (StudyNet) Student – subscribes to the podcast (usually iTunes) – downloads the latest recording to their MP3 player – AND regularly checks for new content But dont need iTunes/ MP3 player… …the workstation is fine

6 What are the benefits? Cheap and easy to create Recording: digital voice recorder (£50) Editing: optional & free (Audacity) Uploading: fast & simple (StudyNet) Listening: free software available (iTunes) Minimal Training: media savvy NOT essential

7 More benefits Relax & concentrate on the material (students) Captures the lecturers enthusiasm Facilitates critiquing and self-critiquing in private (staff & student) Provides an accurate record of peer group activity Act as cultural artefacts

8 Learning on the move NOT fixed – NOT sitting in front of the computer Where the player goes… so does the learning Review & prepare while: – Travelling (car, bus train etc.) – Exercising & Household chores(!) – Sitting in favourite armchair aka mobile learning, aka m-learning

9 Reaches into digital lives Technology already part of Youth culture iTunes (buy music, subscribe to radio, news) Familiarity – non threatening - widen education Bridges the gap between expert & learner Sits alongside other podcasts… …mixes education with the students daily life… … extends beyond the classroom.

10 Recover & Understand Recovery of missed lectures & missed lecture content Helps to prepare, review & reflect (reinforce) – Prepare (using dead time) – Review (difficult concepts) again & reinforce understanding Applies to any audio file BUT… …podcasting = on the move

11 Challenges Attendance may fall – Perceived, not reported (Duke Uni) – (solve: add social elements to lecture) We are all amateurs - not experts – content (student) & quality (speakers voice) – (solve: dont lecture, be conversational) The learner cannot control pacing – Difficult to skim & often listen in 1 go – (solve: add show notes + chapter points)

12 Challenges Not designed for 2 way interaction – Brings tutor & student closer BUT… – Student cannot ask for details or revision or expand into related areas (may) encourage shallow learning – Skim reading = half listen (esp. while on the move) – Listen at the last minute

13 Staff development Workshops A brief background to the Blended Learning Unit The Blended Learning Unit (BLU) CETL aims to promote, develop and evaluate educational provision where high quality e-learning opportunities and excellent campus-based learning are combined or blended in coherent, reflective and innovative ways so that learning is enhanced and choice is increased. We aim to harness technology to enhance learning, teaching and assessment. Specific objectives are: to develop educational resources; to evaluate the impact of change; to foster internal & external collaboration and dissemination; to ensure that successful initiatives continue.

14 Structure of Workshops Introduction and background to podcasting Facilitated groupwork on the benefits and challenges – Which is captured using DVRs to create MP3 files. Step-by-step demonstration of how to transfer the files to a computer and how to upload MP3 files to the MLE (StudyNet) –Real time + step-by-step pictorial handout

15 Structure of Workshops Facilitated discussion on examples of podcasts and sharing of practices between participants Participants offered a free DVR on long term loan from the Blended Learning Unit Workshop concluded with offer of ongoing support, either one-to-one, or within schools or departments.

16 Factors for Success Loanstock of educational equipment: –Items purchased include digital voice recorders, digital cameras, web cams, audio headsets and an EVS system. –Of the items that have been purchased the most popular are Digital Voice Recorders (circa 200 units) supporting a podcasting campaign in 2006/7.

17 How can I use this? (staff) Record lectures – Either during or before & include slides / show notes Preparation work – create material during the summer prior to module starting

18 How can I use this? (staff) Commentaries aka radio show – record regular commentaries in addition to the lecture (e.g. weekly updates, tips, views) – unplanned brainstorming conference show (using skype/email) Add social activity to the lecture – deeper discussion (and record it!) Field trips / guides – virtual tour musecast (inc images) & commentary

19 How can I use this? (staff) Q & A and Tutorial sessions – Answer questions submitted by students – Record 1-to-1 session with student Interview experts, guest lecturers – Conferences, placements

20 Student podcasting Increases presentation skills – More confident – Iterative process (critiquing) – Review & practice = improve vocab Encourages creativity – Explore & express ideas – Share perceptions – And show off!

21 Student Podcasting Field trips, placements, language practice, record of group work, seminars, lectures, interviews, field notes, interviews (with each other, experts). Oral essays (poster!) sound effects, music, commentary, readings - pull in above to create their own interpretation

22 UHcasting! Institutional promotion – Campus guides, student interviews, staff interviews – used to promote the university and its location to domestic and foreign students. Student support (news, religion) Linking institution to community – Profcasts, guest lecturers (seeds of interest). – Establish links to local schools (& abroad).

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