a discussion on the development of podcasting as a
professional medium for learning
Part I Current use EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
What is podcasting?
The word podcasting is derived from iPod – Apple’s ubiquitous media Podcasting – rich media files
player – and broadcasting. Most podcasts are audio files, similar to available for download through
segments of broadcast radio, available for download by subscription. automatic subscription - is a new
and rapidly growing medium.
Digitised media files (such as audio in MP3 or AAC format) can be made
available on a website to be downloaded and played on a computer or Education establishments in the
media player such as an iPod. This would create a passive store of files US and Europe have caught on
through which the recipient would have to search for new material. Many to the potential of podcasts for
media downloads dubbed podcasts are of this nature. However, this is a recording lectures, lessons and
misnomer. other learning materials and as
a new medium for students to
A true podcast also includes subscription, so that once the visitor has submit work and express their
subscribed - often a one-click process - new podcasts from that source creativity.
will be downloaded to their player or browser automatically without
having to return to the site and search. Media companies, from
traditional broadcasters to
The subscription service normally used is RSS (really simple syndication). newspapers, are experimenting
When media files made available through Podcasting are posted to a site, with podcasts distributed to a
the publisher updates an accompanying RSS file with the new media file’s select but growing audience. And
name, topic description, length and location. Recipients subscribe to the podcasts are finding application
publisher’s RSS feed once. Then each time the recipients are online their in industry in general for training
web browser or iTunes (see iTunes page 2) polls the RSS feed for new and public relations.
entries and automatically downloads any new content.
One of the reasons why podcasts
Podcasts are often associated with blogs (weblogs), a regular posting to appeal to a new generation
which readers’ comments can be appended and downloads, such as of digital consumers and
podcasts, can be attached by the author. Subscribing via RSS to a blog increasingly mobile workers is
which contains podcasts will download the podcasts automatically as their portability: podcasts can be
new content along with the blog each time the subscriber logs on to the consumed on the go, using either
internet. a laptop computer or portable
media player, such as an iPod.
Podcasts are platform agnostic and work equally well on PC or Mac
computers. There are an increasing number of applications, such as This paper looks at examples
GarageBand from Apple and Open Source alternatives, for creating of current usage of podcasting,
podcasts. in education, media and wider
industry, and speculates about
Podcasts are not confined to audio files: JPEG still images, PDF documents the role this technology will play
and MPEG4 video can also form part of enhanced podcasts. Podcasts in the fundamental changes
containing video are sometimes referred to as vodcasts or videocasts. But occurring in education in the near
the majority of podcasts are audio-only or audio with images. There are future.
fewer video-capable players and audio podcasts are simpler to make and
easier to consume on portable players. Contents
What is podcasting?
Growth Education – current use 2
The ubiquity of the hardware – some 60 million iPods have been sold Media 5
worldwide to date – and the rapid increase in players capable of handling Training 6
video, such as the iPod, means podcasts will quickly be established as a Public relations 6
recognised medium alongside more familiar media such as print, radio, Education – future use 6
tv, film and the internet.
Forward-looking media organisations with high-value content, such
as the UK’s BBC, are experimenting with mostly audio podcasts. So
far audiences are small compared to traditional broadcast media. But
recognising the potentially broad appeal, media companies expect the
popularity of podcasts to grow rapidly over the next few years.
Aside from media companies, profit-making and not-for-profit
organisations are also exploring podcasting as a means of disseminating In association with Apple
information, such as for training courses. We will turn our attention to
the use of podcasting in media organisations and wider industry later in
One area of life where podcasting has already found more widespread
iTunes is Apple’s client which acceptance is education. In establishments as diverse as the HEC business
provides personal access to its school in Paris to Sandaig Primary school in Glasgow, podcasts are being
Music Store. The iTunes Music used to disseminate information, such as lectures to students, or school-
Store is used increasingly by magazine-style audio programmes.
organisations to store podcasts
which can contain audio, video or A podcast’s content can be anything conveyed by an audio or video file: a
pdf files. recorded lecture, a foreign language or music lesson or a demonstration
of biology principles from an external source.
In the US, higher education
institutions can run an instance Podcasts are also an ideal way of integrating learning materials from
of iTunes Music Store called external experts with standard curriculum texts or materials generated
iTunes U, providing a public or in-house, deepening and personalising the learning experience.
private repository of education
media files. Podcasts are also being used by students and pupils themselves as an
alternative means of presenting information which would otherwise be
“iTunes U will make education handwritten. Teachers whose pupils frequently make podcasts attest to
content distribution as easy as the technology’s power to engage pupils, build literacy and oratory skills
music distribution,” says Herve and develop confidence and teamwork.
Marchet, Apple director of EMEA
education markets. The use of podcasting in schools and colleges in Europe is largely a
grassroots movement, driven by enthusiastic teachers and students.
It is no wonder that podcasts appeal to students and pupils. The boom in
downloadable music, which started in the late 1990s, means that most
young people of school or college age are familiar with the principles
of downloading media files from the internet. The roaring success of
Apple’s iPod and iTunes Music Store has built on this. The iPod is seen
as a cool product, ergo using it as a learning tool makes school attractive
Furthermore, there is growing realisation among forward-thinking
educators that the factory-style learning of the previous century is no
longer a viable model for teaching the latest generation of technologically
savvy students for whom interaction and collaboration is de rigour. The
traditional chalk-and-talk lecture-style of teaching fails to engage those
who daily use interactive digital tv and swap digital media in online
“In the last century we built big entities that did things for people - the
BBC, a national rail network etc - but in this century it’s much more
about helping people help each other,” says Professor Stephen Heppell,
chief executive of international learning research and policy consultancy
heppell.net. “The big success stories are eBay, Google etc. Like podcasting,
they are essentially symmetrical applications: you consume and you
produce at the same time. Crucially, these democratising technologies
give people a voice. Everyone can make a contribution.”
Teachers can use podcasts to disseminate routine information, such
as lesson plans, topic backgrounds, homework assignments and the
fundamentals of lessons, in class or remotely from the school network.
This reduces the amount of chalk-and-talk time, increases the time
pupils can spend in smaller collaborative groups where learning is more
intensified and generally freeing the teacher to be more creative.
Audio files of lessons can also be distributed automatically via podcast to
those who were unable to attend.
Personal VLE POdCASTIng OffERS A
The growth of podcasting as a popular means of disseminating education
nUMbER Of bEnEfITS TO
content has led some schools to look at providing iPods for students. The
integral hard disk can be used to carry the student’s work, timetable,
school correspondence and become a private portable part of the
• Engages learners
student’s virtual learning environment (VLE).
• Promotes personalisation and
Notschool.net is a research project in which Heppell is involved, aimed at
collaboration in teaching
re-engaging young people of school age who for a variety of personal and
logistical reasons have been out of the traditional educational system.
• Uses familiar interface, medium
Students of Notschool.net are called researchers.
“In the early days we gave Notschool researchers iPod Shuffles where they
• Ubiquitous device of
kept their e-portfolios,” says Heppell. “So when they go for an interview
consumption – portable media
and are asked, ‘so what have you done?’ they whip out the Shuffle and
player or web browser
answer ‘let me show you’. Now they’re doing that on iPods with screens.”
• Relatively small investment in
equipment required to get started
The real power of podcasts for school-age learners is realised when the
pupils become producers as well as consumers.
• Intuitive software for creation,
eg iLife ‘06 from Apple
“The role of teachers is changing from delivering content to a knowledge
coach,” says Alexandre Bonucci, vice chancellor IT at University of Lyon
• Relatively low level of technical
II. “Teaching used to be about teachers delivering content to passive
skills required to get started
students. Now teaching is much more interactive, an act of common
construction between teacher and student using the media.”
• Ubiquity of free open source
editing and distribution software
Using technology with a high perceived cool value can be used to
engage otherwise disaffected pupils. Podcasts produced in small groups
• Automates dissemination of
encourage collaborative learning and team-working. Producing podcasts
improves literacy through script-writing and through researching the
script, topic knowledge is imparted almost by stealth. Recording audio
• frees up time for tutorial work
develops oratory skills and builds confidence, especially if pupils’
podcasts are distributed to a wider audience than class peers and positive
• Opens new channel of
feedback encouraged from the audience, for example by podcasting a
communication for students
• builds literacy and oratory skills,
“In the media it’s about sounding like BBC Radio 4, but in education, the
confidence and teamwork
fact that you’re doing it is almost as important as the content, because
you are opening up a new channel of communication with parents
• Enables students to review
and the wider school community,” says Jimmy Leach, editor of Public,
lectures and lessons without
The Guardian’s public sector supplement and formerly editor of the
taking verbatim notes
newspaper’s education section.
• frees students of the constraints
At Sandaig Primary in Glasgow, year five and six pupils podcast a
of the physical classroom
chatshow-style programme called Radio Sandaig, scripted, recorded and
edited by the pupils mostly in their own time.
• Assists distance learning model
“Over the course of two years, I can listen to children now and compare
• Moves towards an on-demand
it with their original podcasts and I can hear the difference in their
teaching material model
speaking,” says John Johnston, year six teacher. “It impacts on things
like self confidence and self awareness, a whole spectrum of skills in
• Enables students with lower
personal social development (PSD), which are not so easy to pin down
traditional literacy skills to
participate in learning at all levels
Lecture by podcast
• Ease of integrating learning
In higher education, again, podcasting can be used to automatically
material from external experts
disseminate routine information, such as course plans, backgrounders
and generic information about the college which would otherwise require
physical distribution via handouts.
POdCASTIng LECTURES Entire lectures can also be podcast with an audio recording synchronised
with visuals aides or images provided by the instructor. This can be used
AT UnIVERSITY Of
by distance learners or those otherwise unable to attend the lecture. But
bRAdfORd it also has great value to those who were present for the live lecture,
freeing them from making verbatim notes because the lecture is available
dr bill Ashraf, senior lecturer in
microbiology at the University
of bradford, caused a stir in late
“Sometimes students spend the whole lecture with their heads down
May 2006 when he told the bbC
and never look up at the slides,” says Adam Burt, technical tutor at
he wouldn’t be doing any premier
Ravensbourne College. “Knowing the lecture is podcast means there’s less
first-year lectures in the next
angst in terms of note-taking.”
Once a library of podcast lectures and learning material has been
Instead, he will podcast the
established, students can access it at will, reviewing lectures on demand
lectures and spend the time he
to assist revision or to cover for absences.
saves on more tutorial-style
teaching which he says his
HEC, a business school located near Versailles, France, has signed a
students find more valuable.
two-year partnership with Apple to integrate iPods and other Apple
technologies into its undergraduate business and MBA programmes.
“Lectures are not the most
efficient way of imparting
When the MBA class starts at HEC in the 2006/07 academic year, about half
information to students,” says
of the lectures will be captured as digital video and provided for students
Ashraf. “There is the logistical
to download as video podcasts an hour later. Every student will be given
problem of getting 250 people
an iPod with video capability, engraved with the school logo, which can
plus me into the same room at
be used for the course and to play the student’s personal music and video
the same time. When you ask
students, they would prefer to
be taught in smaller groups
The iPods will come preloaded with a message from the Dean, HEC’s RSS
where they can focus on case
feeds, class schedule and campus maps. Day-to-day the iPods can be
studies and applying the course
used to view the video lectures and other course materials, to subscribe
material to specific problems or
to news feeds from European news media, for language training, to access
HEC’s digital library and still leave room for the student’s personal choice
of music and video.
Ashraf experimented with
podcast lectures for a year and
The iPods will allow HEC and its students to show how these technologies
received positive feedback from
can be integrated into higher education and business, not just as a
students. “I’ve never had a class
delivery mechanism for course material, but also by students creating
in the final year that has wanted
to interact so much and have
asked such detailed, penetrating
thought-provoking questions,” he
Furthermore, reducing the time lecturers spend delivering traditional
lectures can increase the time available for tutorial sessions with smaller
groups. Here, learning is focused on specific issues rather than the broad
sweep of the subject; it is personalised in the sense that students take
responsibility for the pace at which they learn; and it is collaborative,
with students dividing research topics among a small group with
common interests and assisting each other to learn under the guidance
of the tutor.
See University of Bradford for an example of podcast lectures in practice.
Encouraging podcasts as a means of filing assignments is not confined
to school-age students. Podcasts can also be used effectively in higher
education and lend themselves especially to subjects such as broadcasting
or other courses that require audio work.
See Ravensbourne College for an example of students creating podcasts
in HE on page 6.
This is especially relevant for students, such as dyslexics, who lack highly
attuned traditional learning and communication literacy skills. See
Podcasting offers a number of benefits to educators on page 3.
Ease of use
Teachers and lecturers quite rightly point out that they are often too
busy teaching to spend time learning how to get the best from a new
technology, or that the equipment required is beyond their budget.
However, at an individual level podcasts of lessons can be created from
a single personal computer running GarageBand from Apple. “There’s no
more upfront work to be done to record a lecture than to use a felt-tip pen
on an acetate and very little technical knowledge is required,” says Dr Bill
Ashraf, senior lecturer in microbiology at the University of Bradford.
As podcasting becomes more popular in education and moves beyond
the realm of enthusiasts towards established best practice, systems such
as Apple’s Podcasting Server are emerging which enable teaching staff
with near-zero technical skills to automate the production of podcasts on
an institution-wide basis.
The University of Lyon II, in France, has already started to offer an
automated podcasting service to lecturers. Bonucci describes it as
revolutionary technology because it removes the need for IT knowledge
among teaching staff.
“The benefit for the teacher is that he doesn’t have to be a computer
scientist,” says Bonucci. “You can’t expect a professor of philosophy to
know Java Script and XML – it’s not their job.”
In the UK it is no surprise that the BBC, with it’s wealth of radio
programming, leads the field in audio downloads and podcasts. In total,
BBC Radio audio files were downloaded 2.8 million times in March 2006,
up more than a million since February.
However, companies usually associated with a single medium, such as
UK newspapers The Guardian and News International’s The Times, have
also branched out into podcasting. See Potted history of podcasting at The
Guardian on page 7.
“We rely on our foreign correspondents and expertise within The
Guardian a great deal for content,” says Neil McIntosh, assistant editor
of The Guardian’s website, Guardian Unlimited. “A lot of it is discussion-
based rather than heavily scripted. We don’t want to sound like [BBC]
Radio 4. The idea is to have our own voice and develop something that
The Guardian’s podcast programmers use historical data from Guardian
Unlimited to guide their choice of subject matter, but The Guardian’s use
of podcasting is still in pilot phase, so there is value in experimenting
“We cover a broad range of subjects and treatments so we can see what
works and what doesn’t,” says McIntosh. While experimenting, Guardian
podcasters are also picking up valuable experience and know-how, he
Recognising the multi-channel nature of modern media consumption
and specifically the rise of mobile consumption, media companies are
likely to increase their output of podcasts as they develop multimedia
POdCASTIng SERVICE AT TRAInIng
RAVEnSbOURnE COLLEgE There is also growing interest among industry generally in the podcasting
phenomenon. According to Personnel Today, hospitals in Glasgow are
Ravensbourne is a vocationally using podcasts to provide new staff with an audio induction on issues
led college focussing on the such as workplace safety, infection control and coping with violence,
creative industries. In 2006 the followed by a computer-based knowledge test.
College launched a blog service
for students and staff, enabling The podcast training is used for theatre staff at Glasgow Royal Infirmary,
them to create a blog simply as in the labour ward and neonatal unit at the Princess Royal Maternity
part of its Open Source Moodle Hospital and is being introduced at the Western Infirmary’s Accident and
VLE. Emergency department.
Some students and teaching staff Other health authorities in the UK and Europe have reportedly expressed
have already included podcasts an interest in the concept.
in their blogs and as of the
following academic year, a fully PUbLIC RELATIOnS
supported podcasting service will The increasing ubiquity of portable media players and mobile phones
be available to all. capable of handling rich media podcasts, especially among the young,
means organisations would do well to consider podcasting as part of
“Podcasting relates very well their communications mix as a viable and convenient media channel
to many of the courses we appealing to student-age and tech-savvy audiences.
have here, like creative sound
design and broadcasting,” says “You can reach people you couldn’t talk to before, says Marchet. “Your
Adam burt, technical Tutor at sphere of influence just opened up. Now you can make rich media
Ravensbourne College. “Students available and reach people in whatever way they choose to learn.”
can use their blogs with podcasts
to promote their work.” For example, since 2000, CERN, the particle physics research centre in
Geneva, has webcast live programmes to promote its work. CERN is
currently building a new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider
(LHC), due to be operational in 2007. In preparation, CERN’s management
is considering new material, explaining the benefits of the LHC and
particle physics in general, to be produced as a fortnightly series of five
to 15min video podcasts.
“CERN has a mandate from the European member state council for
communication and education, even though it is not a university,” says
Silvano de Gennaro, head of multimedia productions at CERN. “The main
reason is to motivate young people with aspirations to become scientists
to consider physics. To do that we use the channels and media that they
prefer, so video podcasting is an obvious choice for us because we already
have programming on streaming media.”
“We want to publish podcasts on iTunes so they will be immediately
visible to great many people who are searching for science-related
subjects,” says de Gennaro.
Part II How will podcasting develop in education?
Podcasting is already entrenched in education as can be seen from the
examples above. But how is this likely to develop? Does podcasting
threaten or compliment the traditional role of the teacher? Will usage
dwindle once the novelty is over?
Many educators believe that podcasting will assist in developing otherwise
neglected skills and help education institutions find ways to adapt to the
changing needs of learners.
Oratory POTTEd HISTORY Of
“Every employer values the way that you speak in an interview, but the
POdCASTIng AT THE
National Curriculum doesn’t value oratory at all,” says Heppell. “Many
of us will have a school report that says “if only his written work was
as good as his spoken contributions” as if that was the child’s fault and
for some years The guardian was
not the school’s for failing to value the spoken contribution and only
posting four-minute monologues
valuing the written contribution. What you see with podcasting is a
from foreign correspondents as
broader definition of literacy that values oratory, students’ ability to offer
downloadable Real Audio files to
narrative, anecdote and annotation in spoken word.”
its website, guardian Unlimited.
“but no one addressed the issue
For every student of whatever ability, podcasts can be a vital part of their
of why the audio was happening
personal electronic portfolio to show prospective employers and for
and how we were going to
creative students to promote their work.
develop it,” says neil McIntosh,
assistant editor of guardian
“Graduates will put their blog on their business cards as a good way of
promoting their work without an agent,” says Burt.
The recent advent of RSS-
enabled blogs by guardian
A podcasting infrastructure will enable schools and colleges to easily
correspondents was a natural
integrate learning materials from external sources. Students can
fit with podcasting, enabling
subscribe to the blogs and podcasts of the top experts in the topic they
journalists to podcast with little
are studying, deepening their knowledge and helping each other to learn
technological development. but
by sharing material. In turn, the experts can recruit a wider audience for
the real breakthrough came
when comedian and writer Ricky
gervais began weekly podcast
The pedagogy of collaborative knowledge discovery may seem at odds
shows, featuring writing partner
with the concept of a national curriculum as imposed in many European
Stephen Merchant and sidekick
schools, where a body of learning is mandated at governmental level and
Karl Pilkington, on The guardian
didactically communicated through professional instructors. But, Heppell
Unlimited in december 2005.
argues, how sensible is a national curriculum in a global society?
In its first month the show
“We live in a global society: my shoes are made in China, my shirt in India
averaged 26,60 downloads
and my computer was assembled in Ireland,” says Heppell. “We’re moving
a week, making it not just the
towards [distributed] global learning. You’ll focus on a shared topic, find
most popular podcast of its
other interested people, come together and listen to their contributions,
time by a far, but also a poster
make you own, assemble all this and maybe thread a narrative through
child for podcasting per se and
it. But synchronous distributed learning isn’t feasible [because of time
significantly raising the profile of
differences] so recording becomes important.”
podcasting as a viable medium.
International business schools, such as CHN in the Netherlands which
Today The guardian has a studio,
franchises its courses to overseas colleges, have already begun to put this
in-house audio production
experts and a partnership with
a production company. They
“We have guest lecturers that provide highly valuable content,” says
produce about five hours of
CHN president Robert Veenstra. “We can distribute it easily via iTunes or
programming a week, across
another RSS feed worldwide to [our campuses in] Thailand, South Africa,
China and Qatar.”
The guardian plunged into online
publishing earlier and in greater
Communicating students’ work to a wider audience is seen to be a great
depth than many of its European
motivator to students to excel. As a new channel of communication with
competitors, so it has established
which it is inexpensive to produce content and from which it is easy to
data on what subjects interest
consume, podcasting will likely play a role in future ways for schools and
visitors – data which is used to
colleges to reach out to their wider constituents, as seen at Musselburgh
guide the podcast programming.
Grammar School and others.
“Smart universities are realising that celebration is important, says
Heppell. “I’m talking to a group of children in south London about the
design of their school and they say “the problem with the design of our
school is that people around here don’t know how good we are”. They
need channels to show how good they are.”
An important part of this wider audience is prospective students and
some establishments, such as CHN, are already using podcast e-brochures
to attract students. Financial pressures are increasing competition among
universities colleges and business schools offering vocational courses,
especially in the lucrative overseas students market. Podcasting offers
an inexpensive channel for show-casing the college with, for example,
alumni testimonials and sample course material.
“It’s a very competitive market with overseas students and we have to be
more flexible,” says Bradford’s Ashraf, who sees his university developing
to regard learners more as customers than students.
Podcasting is also a viable way for universities and colleges to keep in
touch with the community of alumni. There is enormous value that
alumni can bring to current students, showing how they’ve applied what
they learned in college in the real world.
For example, graduates of business schools can show how they’ve
applied the various business models to real life challenges in their
One area where podcasting can have the most dramatic impact – and
potentially one of the most controversial – is distance learning.
Often regarded by academics as an inferior form of learning, distance
learning is on the increase. In 2004 a report by analysts at Gartner
predicted that by 2009 half of all courses will be a hybrid of face-to-face
and distance learning and that 80 percent of all learning content will be
available on mobile platforms.
This move to distance learning is driven by some fundamental shifts in
HE and society itself.
As semi- and unskilled jobs migrate to low-wage zones in developing
nations, European workers must move up the economic foodchain by
gaining new skills. European governments would like to see between half
and two-thirds of all school leavers going on to HE and espouse a culture
of life-long learning and continuous professional development (CPD) for
“If you took two-thirds of the school-leavers and sent them all to college
for three years, imagine the cost to the economy,” says Heppell. “The
ability to dip into learning resources if you’re in a full time job puts you in
charge of your own education.”
As higher proportions of the population attend HE, it cannot be guaranteed
that the majority of students will have the skills to cope with traditional
learning environments. The ability to review and interact with podcast
learning materials will be vital.
“French universities have had a specific style of discourse and if you
have traditional learning skills then you will be comfortable with this
style of discourse, but if you don’t then you may struggle,” says Bonucci.
“[Podcasting] technologies help to bridge this learning gap, presenting
content in a way which students without traditional learning skills can
Besides the cost, in some European countries full-time residential HE is AbOUT THIS PAPER
reaching saturation point. This will necessarily mean, if not an erosion,
then certainly a dilution of the traditional HE model of three-year full-
This paper is an ongoing study
time residential degree courses.
of the use of podcasting in the
professional realm produced
As universities raise fees and governments reduce grants, only the
by Idg global Solutions in
wealthy elite will be able to afford full-time HE. The majority will attend
cooperation with Apple’s
short vocational courses while in full- or part-time employment, with
European education team.
each course taking them to the next level of their career.
In education, media and
“I’ve talked to healthcare professionals who want their workers to obtain
industry at large, people are
a degree by studying one day a week,” says Ashraf. “How good would it be
just beginning to discover
for those students to have the podcasts of lectures before they come so
the power of podcasting as a
they can drill down in detail on the day they are in the college and make
professional learning tool and are
the most of the time they have? Traditional lectures aren’t suitable for
at various stages of development.
them. They need a bespoke session. They can’t just knock on my door
Consequently it is intended
and ask me to explain something in the same way that my residential
that this paper will be updated
regularly to reflect the progress
made. It is also intended that
“We have students for one day or two evenings a week and deliver
future editions of this paper will
learning materials via the internet,” says Veentstra. “It means they can
be accompanied with rich media
spend the time they are in the university as quality time between student
attachments, such as audio and
video of interviews with the
Distance learning technologies such as podcasting will also encourage
greater participation from those who are often currently excluded from
This paper is meant as a catalyst
traditional HE, such as the disabled, those with family commitments or
for discussion. Please feel free
those whose occupation or social circumstances that mean they rarely
to send your comments and
live in one location for more than a few months.
experience of podcasting to the
authors via firstname.lastname@example.org
But will the inexorable rise in distance learning mean the demise of
The authors would like to thank
traditional teaching skills?
all those who freely contributed
their time and thoughts to this
That is unlikely, even in highly dispersed education establishments, such
as CHN, students still require guidance in selecting and interpreting
Prof Stephen Heppell
“There will always be a tutor and a lecturer,” says Veenstra. “But I think
that we will develop a lot of content available as podcasts. Podcasting
Jimmy Leach, neil McIntosh
will bring together the remote campuses because all the material will be
available throughout the university and we can use it efficiently.”
Distance learning will never replace contact time with staff,” says Burt. “It
gives students the ability to dip in and out of the content they choose and
provides an enriched environment for them to learn in.”
Value of knowledge
There is the fear that teaching materials from reputable universities will
be stolen and used by unauthorised teachers to provide a copy of the
Adam burt www.rave.ac.uk
same course at a lower fee.
dan Read www.rave.ac.uk
“We’ve had requests to move material from open public access to the
[private] VLE because they are concerned about competitors,” says Andy
dr bill Ashraf www.brad.ac.uk
Ramsden, Learning Technology Adviser at the University of Bristol.
Silvano de gennaro www.cern.ch
However, in the US leading colleges have made their course content
publicly available in podcasts, seeing this as a way of promoting the
Robert Veenstra www.chn.nl
college and of democratising knowledge.