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.
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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
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