Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Podcast lectures for uni students

Podcast lectures for uni students. The BBC has this report of "A lecturer at a West Yorkshire university has abolished traditional lectures in favour of podcasts. "

I know this is not a first (others are podcasting and cutting back on traditional classes) but it seems bold to go entirely to podcasting.

Dr. Bill Ashraf, the instructor, said that students would watch or listen to virtual lectures in their own time. Students will access the podcasts via their MP3 player, phone or computer. This will be followed up with text messaging for questions with answers posted on a class blog.

Dr. Ashraf noted, ""Some lecture classes have 250 students, so I question the effectiveness of a didactic lecture for an hour." That is a good point. I sometimes question the effectiveness of lecturing too. Even with active learning, some students do not get it. But many of these same students will not get it via podcasting either.

I know some libraries are experimenting with podcasting for library instruction. It has real value in working with off-campus students and with other groups who have difficulty visiting the library physically like student-athletes.

I think podcasting is worth exploring and adding to our range of library instruction tools. I doubt most academic libraries will be able to go this route completely though. I do not think this level of boldness as demonstrated by Dr. Ashraf will work with on campus students. They simply will never watch our podcasts. A certain level of instructor driven library instruction is a must. However, podcasts can make a great supplementary learning tool.

1 comment:

Jean-Claude Bradley said...

I have been assigning recorded lectures and doing workshops instead with the class time in my organic chemistry classes since the fall of 2005.

What I have found is that this is a model that can work very well if the proper resources are given to the students. That means full high quality screencasts, video ipod playable vodcasts (M4V), full class notes (PDF) and full audio (MP3). It doesn't actually save time for classes of 100-150 students because there are usually enough students who come to the workshops and take up the whole time. Students who are unable to come to workshops can scan their works and email it to me - that has worked pretty well.

For a recent summary at the 2006 CONFCHEM see here