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Podcasting Pedagogy

What types of podcasts will you produce and for whom?
What can you do to come up with your own ideas and prepare to create compelling podcasts?

Before you start creating your own podcasts, we encourage you to listen to other podcasts, especially those in iTunes U produced by other universities. Which ones did you like and why? All types of podcasts are out there, from really good to not so good. When you listen to the good ones, you'll recognize that they were planned, sometimes scripted, and seamlessly integrate the listening experience with the content. Listen to some podcasts and if they interest you, then subscribe to them. In no time at all, you will be a podcaster, too!

How do you plan for a podcast? First of all, your instructional objectives should include a good reason to create podcasts, as opposed to individual audio files posted to a website. A podcast works very well for a series of episodes linked to a central theme or topic.

When might students create podcasts? If you want your students to be able to write a script, conduct an interview, or write a critical analysis of other students' work, then podcasting might be a good instructional strategy. Your individual needs and instructional objectives will really guide your decision to use podcasting or not. Remember, podcasts are syndicated content consisting of episodes that are tied together through a common theme or topic. If you plan to just produce one recording, you would be better off just publishing this to your Blackboard course site or another online resource, such as a blog.

A podcast planner can help you organize your instructional objectives, the type of activities you might use, and how podcasts can be used in your course.

The first question might be: do my instructional objectives include the need for syndicated audio and/or video, either produced by me or my students?

If the answer is yes, then what type of content would best be presented through a podcast?

Some purposes for podcasts

  • Announcing or recording of public events, speakers
  • Dissemination of Boise State information, such as new student orientation
  • Providing learning enhancements for students, listening to lectures, explanations
  • Creative activity for student assignments, such as an interview and analysis of that interview
  • Assessing, demonstrating students learning, such as a foreign language assessment

Learning Enhancement Examples

Teacher produced
  1. Simple audio recording of live lectures, with or without student audio: Students who miss class, Students who want to review material. Recordings would not have to be edited, but would benefit greatly from editing.
  2. Pre-recorded lectures with visual enhancements (embedded PowerPoint, for example) for students to listen to before coming to class. Could simulate thinking about materials that are supposed to be read and prepare students for more interactivity with in class discussions.
  3. On demand, quick podcasts that are part of a series on "difficult concepts" or "questions asked," addressing specific questions students have.
  4. Weekly audio announcements of upcoming activities and assignments to remind students and keep them on track. Could be provided as a "Weekly Update"
  5. Recordings of class conversations with outside experts.
  6. Language classes: Teacher provides repetitive language tutorials to strengthen learning.
Student produced
  1. Student editing of teacher lectures, providing shorter "chunks" of important points, with student narration inserted. These could enhance learning for students as they produce these audio files, as well as a resource for review by the entire class. Teachers could also see what parts of the lecture students thought was important/significant.
  2. Demonstrate learning: Produce language tutorials or conversations in foreign languages (language proficiency, understanding, listening, speaking).
  3. Write interview questions, conduct interview, edit, and publish (planning, writing, speaking, listening, production, editing, computer)
  4. Read poetry/short stories/other narratives written by students, or produce small bits of information about writing, also posting pdf file.
  5. Radio production practice, setting up radio shows on topics needed by BSU Radio.
  6. Creation of screencast tutorials on software use, with accompanying narration.
  7. Narrated PowerPoint/multimedia as information tool. (All of these could be syndicated content contained within the course sites, with each semester adding to this content. It would serve as a resource for future students and teacher repository for work.)
  8. Assessments: Students answer questions in foreign language, to demo proficiency.
  9. Writing and conducting interviews with experts, to get answers to questions and to also practice, demonstrate improvement in speaking skills.
  10. Publicizing meetings of student clubs, other activities: podcasting of meetings, involving scheduling, meeting planning, agendas, and production skills.
  11. Music: Recording/editing/rerecording of music for assessment, improvement, skills
  12. Art: Discussion of artwork, using enhanced podcasts

Content areas where podcasting would be most powerful

  • Music
  • Art
  • Communication
  • History
  • English
  • Foreign languages
  • Social Sciences
  • Education
Subpages (1): Podcast Planner
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