The University of Southern Mississippi's Podcasting Pilot Project


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A presentation delivered at the 2008 Creating Futures Through Technology Conference, Biloxi, MS, February 7, 2008

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The University of Southern Mississippi's Podcasting Pilot Project

  1. 1. The University of Southern Mississippi’s Podcasting Pilot Project Sharon E. Rouse, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Steve C. Yuen, Ph.D. Professor Sheri L. Rawls, M.S. Director, Learning Enhancement Center The University of Southern Mississippi
  2. 2. Content What is Podcasting? Podcasting in Education Pros and Cons of Podcasts USM Podcasting Pilot Project Goals for Podcasting Pilot Project Podcasting Pilot Project Activities Podcasting Best Practices Podcasting Issues
  3. 3. What is Podcasting? An audio or video file that is distributed over the Internet for listening on mobile media devices or personal computers. Combine technologies to “push” content to your audience using RSS. Portable but no iPod required! Each separate podcast is typically referred to as an episode. Episodes are automatically downloaded and can be synchronized with a portable multimedia device (like an iPod). Create content (audio or video) for an audience that wants to listen or watch when they want, where they want, and how they want. Downloadable as “subscription”
  4. 4. Podcasting in Education Self-paced distance learning Recording lectures for syndication Literary reviews Digital audio books Video demonstrations and presentations from students & teachers Class news and updates Home/school communication Interviews with guest experts or oral history
  5. 5. Podcasting in Education (Cont.) Distribution of supplemental information such as speeches or music Student-produced podcasts Re-mediation for slower learners Tours/fieldwork Staff development Internships/residencies Feedback/evaluation of student work Language lessons
  6. 6. Why Podcasting in Education? Enhance student engagement with content with audio/video. Facilitate self-paced learning. Deliver alternative course content to students. Make content portable for multi- tasking. Encourage critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills. Offer a richer learning environment.
  7. 7. iTunes University
  8. 8. Pros and Cons of Podcasts PROS: CONS: Appeal to Generation Copyright Issues X and Generation Y Potential for Use Voice Inappropriate Use of Communication Technology Activate Additional Learning Modes Offer Time-Shift Information Increase Learner Control
  9. 9. USM Podcasting Pilot Project
  10. 10. Goals for Podcasting Pilot Project Involve USM’s faculty in podcasting Deliver alternative course content to students Enhance student engagement with content with audio/video Provide an easy to use tool for recording field notes, interviews, and discussions Increase students’ podcasting use on campus Offer a richer learning environment Test podcasting technology with pilot faculty before campus wide implementation
  11. 11. Pilot Faculty and Staff
  12. 12. Podcasting Pilot Project Personnel Project Directors Dr. Steve Yuen Dr. Sharon Rouse Learning Enhancement Center Staff Sheri Rawls, Director Amy Thornton, Instructional Technologist Faculty Participants 12 faculty members from 5 colleges and library
  13. 13. Podcasting Pilot Project Activities Support group meets each month Info sharing and support via pilot project mailing list and blog Receive training on cutting- edge podcasting technology Conduct formative and summative assessment via instructors and students survey and interviews
  14. 14. Timeline Launched in April 2007 Announced the Call for Proposals in April 2007 – Invited faculty to submit podcasting proposals and ideas Conducted online student survey in May 2007 – collected students’ interests, technology background, learning styles, study habits, and attitudes toward the use of podcasting in teaching and learning
  15. 15. Timeline (Cont.) Began faculty training and roundtable discussion sessions in June 2007 Awarded a 80GB iPods, a Mac Book, and a TuneTalk Recorder for each pilot faculty Implemented podcasting in selected undergraduate/graduate courses beginning Fall 2007 Conducted the first phase of formative assessment in Dec 2007
  16. 16. Pilot Study Conducted online student survey in May 2007 Determined students’ interest, technology background, learning styles, study habits, attitudes toward the use of podcasting in teaching and learning Given to students in face-to-face and online classes of all levels 965 students responded to the online questionnaire
  17. 17. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) 48% of the students completing the survey were between 20-25 years of age 72% of the students were females A great majority of students (84%) had a high speed or LAN connection to the Internet Over 37% of the students took a fully online course or hybrid/blended class
  18. 18. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) Over 40% of the students lived more than 16 miles away from campus About 43% of the students’ typical commute time was over 20 minutes Over 20% of them spent over 60 minutes on the road to campus
  19. 19. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) 62% of the students own either iPod or MP3 player More than 40% of them spend 10-20 hrs/week using their iPod or MP3 player Almost 45% of them use their iPod or MP3 player while walking or jogging 65% of the students have knowledge about podcasting, but 41% have ever listened to a podcast
  20. 20. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) Nearly 90% of the students are interested in accessing instructional materials with their iPod or MP3 Player Almost 55% of the students indicated that a class that is being podcast makes them more likely to take it
  21. 21. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) 74% of the students have been using a computer for 8 or more years 36% of them do not know whether they prefer using an iPod or MP3 player to using a computer nor do these students (41%) know whether they learn better from being in a face-to- face classroom experience
  22. 22. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) 55% of the students see themselves as visual learners. While the other students see themselves as auditory (23%) and kinesthetic (23%) learners Students preferred video podcasts (58%) rather and podcasts with audio and still frames (23%) and (15%) with only audio
  23. 23. Pilot Study Results (Cont.) Students strongly favored classes using podcasting for the ability to review materials repeatedly and whenever they wanted Some students preferred taking classes that offer podcasting, liked combination classes that used face-to-face classroom experience and podcasting, and were much more likely to take a class offering podcasting, and indicated they would be more likely to use an iPod or MP3 if it were available
  24. 24. Conclusions from the Pilot Study Students at USM are interested and would like to have podcasting implemented into their classes The data should be used to design and develop instructional podcasts that will help instructors and students in the learning process, foster engagement and reflection, and to enhance overall user experience for students in their learning environment The study provided data that supported faculty involvement in participation in a podcasting initiative to improve student’s learning opportunities through the use of innovative technologies
  25. 25. Podcasting Best Practices (Cont.) Know your audience. Focus on your content. Garbage in, Garbage Out… Invest a good microphone for your podcast. Have notes and an outline to keep on the topic. Edit your podcast appropriately for content, quality, and length. Keep your podcast short and file size small. Use a lower rate of bits per second (32 kpbs, 16 KHz, Mono) and still sound good to listener.
  26. 26. Podcasting Best Practices (Cont.) A “talking head” is distracting. Don’t include video if your video does not enhance the content. Deliver valuable, informative, engaging content to your students that they cannot get from any other sources. Provide notes for students to review content of the episode before and while they listen to the podcast.
  27. 27. Podcasting Issues Will students still come to your lectures? Public access to audio files? Copyright issue. Difficult to search or scan podcast content. Podcasts can lend themselves to passive and prescriptive teaching. Issues concerning bandwidth. Not interactive. Limited usefulness for the hearing impaired.
  28. 28. THE END Questions or Comments? Thank You for Attending Our session! This presentation is available on the Web at: