University of Southern California (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 3134 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0778
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
There is growing need for creating materials to be included both in formal academic programs and for continuing professional development in health sciences, which can be accessible with no limitations in the number of times a student can review it.1 The use of recorded material builds upon the well-established approach of expecting students to review concepts prior to a teaching session, with one or more brief recordings to introduce the factual content that would be covered in a lecture, allowing the face-to-face session to focus on students’ questions and/or applying the material 2. Hearing is a powerful sensory channel and long-term memory is greater when material is heard than read. Listening allows other tasks to be performed at the same time and this multi-tasking approach is typical of the activity of most young learners. Podcasts can help learners with different learning styles, including those who prefer to learn ‘on the go’ or revisit material many times and at their own pace.3 The use of podcast as an initial contact with the didactic material enhances the class participation during in-person discussions.4, 5

A proposed strategy is to create podcasts where faculty and students interact and discuss academic materials, which can be used to address specific topics. The author took advantage of an existing podcast channel created for the Master in Pain Medicine (Keck School of Medicine of USC), “Pain Know-How”, and recorded an episode entitled “Let’s talk about headaches by Asher Mansdorf and Joseph Khafi” ( The episode is a conversation between a faculty and a dental student, and explores the characteristics of primary headaches and red flag headaches.
A group of 6 students participated in a pilot project, and completed a 10 item diagnostic test about headaches without prior preparation. After listening to the podcast, they were asked to complete the same test.

As a result of this project, a 29 minute episode was created and made public in at least five platforms, including Anchor, Breaker, Google, Radio Public and Spotify. Six 3rd year dental students participated in the pilot, and the pre and post podcast scores showed immediate improvement, from an average of 5.383% to 89% (35.17% over the initial assessment).
In the pre-podcast test, all students answered correctly questions 1 (how to differentiate different headaches), 5, and 8 (both related with migraine headaches), but all answered incorrectly question 6 (red flags headaches). After listening to the podcast, both questions related with migraine were correctly answered by all students, but question 6, related with red flag headaches was still incorrect in most of the cases. Since the concept was included in the podcast, the poor performance might be related with a concept which is difficult to understand, or because the type of question was misleading.

Considering the importance of ensure the delivery of didactic content in an expedite way, overcoming the difficulties related with social distance guidelines, the use of podcasts might be a suitable strategy. The next step is to prove the efficacy of the podcasts to not only deliver the information, but to assess the retention of the knowledge compared with in-person lecture provision. The proposed process is efficient and involves the students when creating of new deliverable academic materials.
Podcast, pain education, learning technology.