Podcasting

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WCET 2008 Conference presentation

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  • Often an initiative is mutually beneficial for multiple units - it is a way of solving a mutual problem with a strong motivation to make it work. Partners typically have the same goals, but a different vision of how to get there. 30+ year history of audio recording, then videotaping class sessions for record-keeping: Increasingly labor intensive and expensive, impossible to meet demand for recording of classes Library Media Center equipment obsolete and patched together with “good intentions” Video recording equipment (VHS) no longer manufactured and new recording equipment formats non-compatible with Library’s equipment.
  • No funding for a new initiative Limited Permanent staffing to support the initiative Instructors’ concerns (absentee-ism, no time to learn new technology) Very Short Timeline from inception to production (3 weeks) Concern about sustainability and scalability
  • One Classroom Before Installing Equipment Look close we will have a prize for the person who can point out the differences in the After picture.
  • Pod-casting Implies a specific type of MP3 device RSS (subscription) makes it “casting” Course-casting is a Web 2.0 technology UW does both
  • Our approach is to: equip rooms, not people participation is voluntary we make it EASY for the instructor, students and support staff Get buy-in from faculty leadership groups: Faculty Senate Technology Advisory Committees
  • This is what an automated audio system looks like. It is: Integrated into PA system. Automatically records and posts after class. The advantages of this systems are that it : a lways shows up is automatic, integrated, and scalable
  • This is what the classroom portal looks like.
  • This is our process.
  • Same Room After Installing Equipment Prize for anyone who can identify the difference.
  • Online survey only to students enrolled in courses using podcasting. Open-ended questions on strengths and weaknesses of this technology, other online resources students used, and a question about the future of podcasting at the UW. Anonymous and no incentive to participate. 36 courses participated over 3 quarters, we survey students in 27 of those courses. Due to the small response rate we do not claim our results are representative or conclusive, rather these provide a starting point.
  • Although the majority of student respondents listened to entire podcast recordings, 28% reported that they fast-forwarded to particular portions, rather than listening to an entire recording. Slightly over half of student respondents listened to portions of the recordings multiple times. The data suggest that there were numerous ways student interacted with the podcast recordings, rather than one typical listening pattern.
  • The majority of student respondents reported owning an iPod or other MP3 player. Despite the prevalence of MP3 players, the preferred means of listening for a strong majority of students—87%—reported listening to course podcasts on a computer, rather than an MP3 player. This pattern indicates that despite news coverage of students listening to Oceanography lectures “in the gym,” mobility did not appear to be the driving factor behind most students’ use of course podcasts.
  • “When I missed class, I put the PowerPoints and the podcast together and I caught up very quickly.” We asked students if they accessed the online resources while listening to the course podcasts. 74% indicated that they used the lecture notes while listening to the podcasts. 87% reported using the online PowerPoint slides while listening to the podcast recordings. These patterns suggest that students found the course podcasts more useful in tandem with other materials than as a stand-alone resource.
  • Instructors attributed their decision to start using podcasting to a desire to aid their students and an interest in the new technology. According to one instructor, “With such a large class, I wanted to support as many students as possible in their various needs/ lives/ circumstances. Many students will have reasons that they will miss class and I don’t want their learning to suffer because of it.” Both instructors and students found the course podcasts easy to use. Instructors particularly appreciated the “zero configuration” of the tool. When asked to identify the strengths of podcasting, instructors most frequently mentioned the opportunity it provided for students to access lecture content, either to clarify difficult concepts or to catch up if they missed class. According to one instructor, “The greatest strength is to allow students to learn even if they have to miss class.” Students agreed with instructors. In an open-ended question that asked students to identify the strengths of podcasting, over 40% of respondents listed its ability to help them catch up if they missed a class. One student remarked, “I became very sick this quarter, and the podcasts greatly helped me catch up on what I missed in class.” The next most common strength of podcasting identified by students was its usefulness in clarifying concepts discussed in class. According to one student, “It really is a great thing to be able to listen again to class lectures. I’ve been able to gain such a better understanding of the material using them.” Students also reported using podcasts to prepare for homework and exams and to fill in gaps in their notes. One student wrote, “It allowed me to be more engaged during the lecture and not just furiously taking notes. If I missed something I wanted to include in my notes I could go back to the podcast and fill in what I missed.”
  • For weaknesses of podcasting, the most common item listed by students was the fact that podcasts do not easily capture visual materials or class discussion. Over 36% of student respondents commented on this issue. According to one student, “sometimes it is difficult to follow the visual aides associated with the lecture.” Figure 6 shows the level of student agreement with statements about the connection between the content of the recordings and other classroom activities. While over half of students reported being able to follow student discussion and connect lecture contents with visual aids, the percentages for these items are significantly lower than they were for questions about ease of use (as shown in Figure 5). Other weaknesses mentioned by students included minor technical problems (generally related to sound quality) and difficulty searching for specific information within a recording. The most common weakness mentioned my instructors was concern that podcasting led to higher rates of student absenteeism. Students shared this concern. According to one student, “some students take advantage of the podcasting and use it as an excuse to skip class.” On the student survey, we asked participants about the impact that podcasting had on their attendance. Figure 7 shows their response.
  • 16%, a smaller but statistically significant group ( p < .001), indicated that availability of this technology made them less likely to attend class. These numbers suggest that for the majority of students, podcasting does not negatively impact attendance. However, the small response rate for our survey does not allow us to determine whether or not these numbers are representative. Several instructors reported observing a drop in attendance in courses with podcasting. When asked whether or not the availability of podcasting had an impact on student attendance, seven instructors indicated that the presence of podcasts made students less likely to attend class, four indicated that it had no effect on student attendance, and no instructors claimed that podcasting made students more likely to attend class. However, not all instructors saw a possible decline in student attendance as a problem. According to one instructor, “The MP3 recordings encourage slackers to cut class. However, giving such students an opportunity to cut is not entirely a bad thing for the rest of the class. Sometimes only 50% of my students were in attendance—far lower than without podcasts—but those who were there were truly present.” Obviously, more research is necessary to understand the correlation between podcasting and student attendance. In our evaluation none of the instructors indicated that they were likely to stop teaching with podcasting because of attendance concerns.
  • We asked students and instructors what type of classes, if any, should incorporate podcasting. Student response to this question is shown in Figure 8. The data show a positive correlation between larger class sizes and student desire for podcasting. Instructor results were similar. Additionally, we asked instructors whether or not they would be interested in using podcasting in future classes. All indicated that they would be interested in using podcasting in the future. These patterns indicate that among evaluation participants, both students and instructors, podcasting was perceived to be a valuable tool for large-lecture courses.
  • History Decentralized ownership structure resulting in competition for scarce resources Limited understanding of ongoing needs and costs of technology at the highest administrative levels Funding that was available was ad hoc ATAC Faculty and staff advisory group to the Provost on institution-wide technology issues/impacts Advocate for faculty instructional needs Identified by support departments as a key Course-casting stakeholder and potential champion for funding Consistent advocate of collaborative/cross-department & coordinated approach Pod squad August 2005: Staff formed an ad hoc team to investigate using emerging technologies at the UW September 2005: CSS presented (unit specific) budget request to ATAC October 2005: CSS presented first inclusive budget request to ATAC, included needs for: CSS (General Campus) UW Libraries Health Sciences Learning & Scholarly Technologies
  • Appeared before the Committee 3-5 Times Final Allocation of $1,000,000 Able to plan on a long-term basis for the first time Shift in thinking from “unit” to “Campus” needs Stronger voice with multi-unit impact PLUS, strong endorsement for permanent funding for support of educational technology needs from ATAC to the Provost
  • Automated Audio Model For Video Screen Capture Flash Player Interface
  • Learning does not only happen in the classroom, but what does happen in that classroom often drives what happens outside. You can’t ignore one for the other. To extend the academic day, or the academic experience is a high priority for our mobile, untethered net generation. The challenge for campuses is to bring together the right partners for the optimization of services to enhance this continual process of learning.
  • Podcasting

    1. 1. Podcasting: A Catalyst for Learning and Integrated Planning Karalee Woody, Director Catalyst Client Services University of Washington
    2. 2. Partnerships <ul><ul><li>Computing & Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health Sciences Academic Services & Facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning & Scholarly Technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undergraduate Academic Affairs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University Libraries </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Partnerships <ul><li>Obstacles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timeline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Technology and Innovation Before
    5. 5. Technology and Innovation <ul><li>Pod-casting </li></ul><ul><li>Course-casting </li></ul>
    6. 6. Technology and Innovation <ul><li>An automated model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Barix instreamer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 PA system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 really smart Linux guy (really smart) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1, 73-line shell script </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto generated RSS feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto populated web site </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Technology and Innovation
    8. 8. Technology and Innovation
    9. 9. Technology and Innovation
    10. 10. Technology and Innovation After
    11. 11. Assessment <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions on habits and use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-ended questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymous </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>36 courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5.5% response rate </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Assessment
    13. 13. Assessment
    14. 14. Assessment
    15. 15. Assessment
    16. 16. Assessment
    17. 17. Assessment
    18. 18. Assessment
    19. 19. Funding <ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Pod squad </li></ul>
    20. 20. Funding <ul><li>Working with ATAC </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative process </li></ul><ul><li>New opportunities </li></ul>
    21. 21. Funding <ul><li>2006 received </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustaining $ 419,325 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding $ 183,625 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation $ 397,050 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total $1,000,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2007 request </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustaining $1,292,480 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding $ 843,290 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation $ 409,380 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total $1,472,580 </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Future directions
    23. 23. Future directions All of this technology stuff is nice, but why does it matter to us?
    24. 24. Contact Info <ul><li>Karalee Woody </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://catalyst.washington.edu/ </li></ul></ul>

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