Specific Critical Issue – Continuing Research

As stated in my last blog post, the critical issue I have chosen is how podcasts affect student learning when assigned as a ‘primer’ for lectures (i.e. primer podcasts).  Like my teammates, I was drawn to the accessibility of this technology and its promise as a blended learning tool.


A more detailed literature review has unearthed many relevant resources, though few that reference primer podcasts.   To date, the most relevant study continues to that by Popova, Kirschner, and Joiner (2013), who investigated the effect of primer podcasts on stimulating learning in the eyes of students.  By contrast, research on the use of podcasts in blended learning applications has been plentiful and enlightening.  Many outline the benefits of podcast use, such as accessibility for both learners and content producers (Brookes, M. 2010, as well as the risks, such as learner and instructor dependency (Goldman, 2018).

Can podcasts compete?

One of my concerns when exploring podcasts as a blended learning tool was that they would deliver substandard results when compared with other more sophisticated tools like MOOCs.  However, many studies convincingly contend that learning modality is unimportant so long as learning design is strong (Thalheimer, 2018).  So, it is critical that podcasts are part of a learning toolkit that incorporates learning methods that are not common – or in some cases, not possible – in podcasts alone, such as spaced repetition and realistic practice.  That said, podcasts are often rich with real-world context, which is an oft-cited component of effective learning design (Thalheimer, 2018)

How have you incorporated podcasts in your toolkit? I would love to hear about your experiences.



Bauder, D., & Ender, K. (2016). Using Multimedia Solutions for Accessing the Curriculum Through a UDL Lens. 1134–1139. https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/173088/

Berlanger, Y. (2005) Duke university iPod first year experience final evaluation    http://cit.duke.edu/pdf/reports/ipod_initiative_04_05.pdf

Brookes, M. (2010). An evaluation of the impact of formative feedback podcasts on the student learning experience. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education (Oxford Brookes University), 9(1), 53–64. https://doi-org.libresources2.sait.ab.ca/10.3794/johlste.91.238

Chester, A., Buntine, A., Hammond, K., & Atkinson, L. (2011). Podcasting in Education: Student Attitudes, Behaviour and Self-Efficacy. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 14(2), 236–247.

Edirisingha, P., & Salmon, G. (2007). Pedagogical models for podcasts in higher education. figshare. Conference contribution. https://hdl.handle.net/2381/405

Fang, W. (2019, December 24). Why Do People Listen to Podcasts in 2020? Retrieved from https://www.listennotes.com/podcast-academy/why-do-people-listen-to-podcasts-in-2020-5/

Goldman, T. (2018). The impact of podcasts in education.  Santa Clara University. Advanced Writing: Pop Culture Intersections, 29. Available at: https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/engl_176/29?utm_source=scholarcommons.scu.edu/engl_176/29&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages

Hew, K. F. (2009). Use of audio podcast in K-12 and higher education: A review of research topics and methodologies. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(3), 333-357. http://sttechnology.pbworks.com/f/Hew_(2008)_Use%2520of%2520Audio%2520Podcast%2520in%2520K-12%2520and%2520Higher%2520Education.pdf

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. (2007). Listen and learn: A systematic review of the evidence that podcasting supports learning in higher education. In C. Montgomerie & J. Seale (Eds.), Proceedings of World Use of audio podcast in K-12 and higher education 355 123 Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2007 (pp. 1669–1677). Chesapeake, VA: AACE

Meyer, A., Rose, D.H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal design for learning: Theory and Practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing.

Parson, V., Reddy, P., Wood, J., & Senior, C. (2009) Educating an iPod generation: undergraduate attitudes, experiences and understanding of vodcast and podcast use, Learning, Media and Technology, 34:3, 215-228, DOI: 10.1080/17439880903141497

Popova, A., Kirschner, P. A., & Joiner, R. (2014). Effects of primer podcasts on stimulating learning from lectures: how do students engage? British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(2), 330–339.

Pratt, S. (2019, January 30). 13 Predictions for Podcasting in 2019. Retrieved from https://blog.pacific-content.com/13-predictions-for-podcasting-in-2019-d52e7ed536ed

Thalheimer, W. (2017). Does elearning work? What the scientific research says! Available at http://www.work-learning.com/catalog.html


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