Learning technologist, Simon Davis from Leeds University has been researching the benefits of podcasting and vodcasting for teaching and learning with colleagues from the Staff and Departmental Development Unit (SDDU). Findings to date have been published on the SDDU podcast and blog and include views from staff and students alike on the potential of podcasting. They certainly make for interesting listening.
Simon is also part of a special interest group of like-minded academics from around the country who collaborate with each other via a wiki Podcasting for Pedagogical Purposes and occasionally meet face to face to discuss their ideas further. Here are some of their thoughts from their inaugural event in February.
- Why should we use audio to communicate?
- How can we use audio to communicate?
He then answers both questions by providing evidence from his and others research from the unit. During the round tables, colleagues Gerard, Dragos, Jenifer, Penny H, Penny F, Jo, Rowan, Rebecca, Alice and Catherine give their views too on podcasting and how it can create more flexible learning opportunities by letting students decide where and when they learn.
The SDDU podcast features some interesting takes on the usefulness of educational podcasting, in particular Dr Karen Lee's advice on the use of audio in teaching, Simon's episode on comparing recording equipment, reminiscent of my post A guide to recording audio on a budget and the introductory podcast which includes interviews with university students and staff.
As well as podcasting, Simon is also passionate about creating video resources for learning and teaching and gives some ideas on how to get started in this SDDU presentation he recently uploaded to SlideShare. He has made a number of clips too on LUTube, the YouTubesque video sharing site at the university.
It is clear listening back to the various views expressed on podcasting in education that some are very enthusiastic about the possibilities whereas others are less so, unsurprisingly. Some of the top tips suggested are:
- keep podcasts short and concise concentrating on the key points
- change your intonation to keep listeners' interest and to provide more colour
- include a range of voices so that recordings sound more like conversations than monologues
- use scripts for preparation and accessibility
Hopefully this post will help to (pod)cast the net wider and provide plenty of LEEDS for us to explore in the future. Thanks to the SDDU for all your hard work and in particular to Simon for helping to share these findings with the rest of us.