A Review of Research on Podcasting in the Classroom

Use of Audio Podcast in K-12 and Higher Education: A Review of Research Topics and Methodologies

Hew, K.F. (2009) Use of audio podcast in K-12 and higher education: A review of research topics and methodologies. Educational Technology Research and Development. 333–357 doi: 10.1007/s11423-008-9108-3

Article reviews other articles on the use of audio podcasts as it relates to student usage, outcome of learning, and institutional aspects. The article found that most of the use of podcasts were by instructors to distribute lectures or supplemental material to lectures.

In the classroom, the podcast has four functions

  1. duplicate the lecture
  2. add relevant information to what was covered in class
  3. become a precursor to class, providing new material before the lecture, so it can help students prepare for class
  4. represent student learning through student-generated podcasts

We listen by instinct and audio can help with cognition. Podcasts can be listened to at any time anywhere and for short clips at a time. The theory is that podcasts can be listened to to and students will gain bits of information at a time. However, research shows that most students listen to podcasts on their computer rather on mp3 players and that learners are usually focused on the podcast and are not multitasking while they are listening to classroom podcasts.

Students reported that podcasts do improve learning, allowing learners to review information they missed or did not understand. However, reports which did not use the interview as a means of finding data, found a podcast which is not student generated, improves the student’s satisfaction, but does not improve their learning.

Part of the reason for the popularity of podcasts lectures is that students may listen to the podcast when it is convenient to them.

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