About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4186-4194
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PODCASTS AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TEACHING TOOL FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION

A. Wingkvist, M. Ericsson, J. Leitet

Linnaeus University (SWEDEN)
This paper describes an experiment we conducted to investigate how podcasts can be used as a teaching tool for distance education. Distance students have a higher dropout rate and we wanted to aid them in managing the course load and have them finish the course. The course is an introduction to database technology and dual in the sense it combine distance and campus students. Most students claim they are short on time but this is especially true when it comes to distance students as they often have part or even full-time jobs. This results in them needing to have the flexibility to study on their own schedule but this also creates a sense of isolation as they are excluded from the community that is formed on campus.

The campus lectures are offered as live streams and full recordings to the distance students so in our experiment we extend them with LectureCasts, TutorialCasts and ExtraCasts. The LectureCast is an audio only version of the recorded lectures, the TutorialCast is an instructional podcast that shows how to solve a specific problem or use a specific technology and the ExtraCast is extra, optional information related to the topic of the course.

All in all, we produced 54 podcasts during the course and evaluated the process and the podcasts from a lecturer and student perspective. Students preferred the TutorialCasts and found that they learned a lot by watching these. From a lecture perspective, we found that while the TutorialCasts required some effort to record, the improved the quality of the students’ hand-ins and reduced the number of revisions and questions. The students appreciated the ExtraCasts, but from a lecturer perspective, we found that these require a lot of resources in planning and production so you need to budget this before hand.

The students found the LectureCasts difficult to follow without video, but they require little effort to prepare, and it is possible to improve the understandability. Our experience from the podcast experiment can be summarized as follows: it takes a lot of resources to produce good podcasts and any attempt to introduce them should be planned well in advanced and done in an iterative fashion, there are still several technical challenges to overcome, from local infrastructure to student subscriptions and device compatibility, TutorialCasts proved to be a very effective addition to the Lecturer toolkit.

We found that podcasts can help address these issues. Devices that can play audio and video podcasts are in wide use among our students, and offer the opportunity to study at any time and place. The podcasts allows the lecturers to relax both format and content, and to provide material that is suitable for different situations.
@InProceedings{WINGKVIST2011POD,
author = {Wingkvist, A. and Ericsson, M. and Leitet, J.},
title = {PODCASTS AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TEACHING TOOL FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4186-4194}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Wingkvist AU - M. Ericsson AU - J. Leitet
TI - PODCASTS AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TEACHING TOOL FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 4186
EP - 4194
ER -
A. Wingkvist, M. Ericsson, J. Leitet (2011) PODCASTS AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TEACHING TOOL FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 4186-4194.
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