About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 2372-2379
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
A major challenge faced by teachers on virtual classes is to provide feedback for students in order to overcome the lack of closeness caused by physical distance between their students and them. The use of emoticons seems to soften the impact of such distance. However, emoticons do not always clearly express the teacher´s intention. Podcasts are audios created to support and spread out information in a specific context.
Bollinger et al (2010), remark these audio files as a good communication toll due its online availability which allows students download and listen them in order to review the instructional materials (e.g., lectures), out of class at a time and place convenient for them. The integration of podcasts in online courses is becoming increasingly common. They developed a research about the impact of podcasting on student motivation in online learning environment and their conclusions suggest that the use of podcasts clearly helped many of their students on learning process. The authors emphasize that students appreciated the additional information provided by podcasts. And many of them were useful for understanding the instructional content better or faster than written material. For many students, being able to hear the voice of the teacher became significant in comparison to those classes where the authors used strategies based only on written communication in forum´s discussion. Many participants indicated that the ability to hear the voice of their teacher made them feel more connected to them. The authors also postulate that the use of teacher's voice, inserted in the online courses, makes communication less impersonal and more humane. According to Inoue (2007, cited by Bollinger et al, 2010), students who participate in online courses may experience isolation feelings. For online students been connect with peers and teachers using the voice may consider a good option in order to overcome such isolation feeling.
Boule, Maramba & Wheeler (2006) remark the fact that today's technological resources are associated with mobility (such as smartphones, tablets and netbooks). These resources allow students and teachers enjoy the portability offered by podcasts. These portable devices allow students to listen the podcasts during their day-to-day in various non-academic activities. This paper describes author´s experience using podcasts in many online courses during the last four years, and also discusses the podcasts pedagogical application. The podcasts were recorded using Audacity, a free access tool, as a feedback to students in order to offer an alternative to improve the teacher-student relationship in a more rich and emotional way. The important is the concept and the pedagogical approach. Recommendations for teachers who aim to improve their feedback process in distance courses are provided. In order to validate the pedagogical proposal a survey was conducted with students of several virtual courses aiming to identify their perception about the audio as a feedback the results are also presented and discussed.

BOLLIGER, J. SUPANAKORN, S., BOGGS, C. Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the online learning environment. In: Computers & Education .Elsevier: V 55 p.714-722, 2010.
BOULOS, M. N. K., MARAMBA, I., & WHEELER, S. (2006). Wikis, blogs, and podcasts: a new generation of web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. BMC Medical Education, 6(41).
Podcast, audio, virtual classes, evaluation feedback, evaluation process, teacher-student communication.