Grey Tales


Tales from an Instructional Technologist in the world of legal education and beyond…

Podcasts, Part of Higher-Tech Education

I just listend to this interesting NPR stream on Podcasts:

One of the things they discuss is whether or not making the audio available (not to mention syndicated and portable) makes students less likely to come to class and instead, wait to actually listen to the audio until right before the exam. Certainly, some of the statistics I have seen this from this university support the fact that there is a spike in accessing the recorded classes right before final exams. The question is, are they reviewing the recordings or listening for the first time?

In the class I TF at the Harvard Extension school, we make available a live web cast and chat room in real time as we lecture, as well as the recorded videos after the class. The majority of our students still show up or attend in real time via the web stream because they find being in the moment and having the ability to take part in the discussion or activity an important part of their learning experience. I have heard a few students report that sometimes when they watch later on they felt they had missed out a bit by not being being in class/watching the stream. This seems to indicate that if the lectures are produced in such a way that is interesting and generative to the class it won’t matter whether or not the recordings are available to students. They will want to be a part of the live experience.

Maybe podcasts will just afford students the ability to be lazy and skip class. Or perhaps it simply falls into the category of education delivery adapting to this generation’s climate of understanding. I believe that if lectures are engaging to students and opportunities are present for in class experiences not available from simply accessing recordings, Podcasts could serve as an excellent and convenient study aide during review period.


Filed under: Educational Technology, Instructional Technology

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