Beyond Podcasting (ALT-C 2008)


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Discusses how digital audio can be used vcreatively by academics to enrich the student experience

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Beyond Podcasting (ALT-C 2008)

  1. 1. Academic Innovation, LTI Beyond podcasting creative approaches to designing educational audio Andrew Middleton (
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>This session will, </li></ul><ul><li>draw upon experience from the Closer! educational podcasting pilot </li></ul><ul><li>share ideas for the educational application of digital audio developed within the pilot for consideration today </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot informed by a desire to: </li></ul><ul><li>enhance the learner experience </li></ul><ul><li>promote academic and student creativity (underpinned by digital media) </li></ul><ul><li>encourage learner-centred, blended pedagogies with 25 academic participants </li></ul><ul><li>opportunity: Podcast LX add-on for the Blackboard VLE providing a catalyst/'reason to explore' </li></ul><ul><li>Today you will be involved: consider audio podcasting models in context of teacher/student-centred and formal/informal continuums </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why 'beyond' podcasting? <ul><li>Podcasting is essentially a technical concept </li></ul><ul><li>Technology: no inherent educational value (Clark, 1994; Deal, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Digital media + RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Students and staff are not so interested in RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Students prefer to access podcasts from the VLE, not on mobile devices (Lane, 2006; Malan, 2007; Newnham & Miller, 2007, Stokes et al. , 2008; Woodward, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Staff want variety in the VLE </li></ul><ul><li>The popular usage of the term 'podcasting' frequently used to describe (and now meaning?) any downloadable digital media (Ralph et al. , 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>RSS is important to some, but not most </li></ul>
  4. 4. Media for all – at last <ul><li>Popular awareness of 'podcasting', interest and understanding has emerged from: </li></ul><ul><li>(mis)-use/ appropriation in the media </li></ul><ul><li>proliferation of audio-capable devices (soft, hard, fixed or mobile) </li></ul><ul><li>growing belief in it as 'everyware' technology : reliable, flexible, easy-to-use, appropriate, highly accessible (Windham, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>awareness of YouTube and other user-generated content tools as being 'everyware' technologies </li></ul><ul><li>It's ready to use – so what can we do with it? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Emerging pedagogic innovation <ul><li>Beyond lecture recording – extending our learning environments: formally, informally, virtually, physically, shifting the control base... </li></ul><ul><li>Aliotta, 2007; Abram, 2006; Belanger, 2005; Bentley, 2006; Blaisdell, 2006; Cane & Cashmore, 2008; Chan & Lee, 2005; Edirisingha & Salmon, 2007; Lazzari, 2008; Stewart & Doolan, 2008, Podcasting for Pedagogic Purposes SIG (UK HE/FEIs), ASEL, Sounds Good,... </li></ul><ul><li>Recognising opportunities for engagement e.g., </li></ul><ul><ul><li>voice and presence (eg empathy, significance, emphasis...) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>timeliness , currency, immediacy, authenticity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructionism (ie student design and generation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>formative intervention </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Media Intervention <ul><li>non-didactic applications </li></ul><ul><li>media seeding further learning activity i.e. challenging, provoking, motivating and orientating learners </li></ul><ul><li>mediation </li></ul><ul><li>not the 'be-all-and-end-all' </li></ul><ul><li>'ways in', 'ways through' learning and teaching </li></ul><ul><li>variety </li></ul><ul><li>teaching punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>components strategically deployed </li></ul>
  7. 7. Audio design – process over product <ul><li>Audio design provides a learning opportunity in itself for students eg DALOs ( Middleton and McCarter, 2005; Lee et al. , 2006) Design-based Learning (Wijnen, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot meta activity: audio design – a communal constructivist approach (Holmes et al. , 2001) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>participants &quot;leave their own imprint in the development of the course, their school or university, and ideally the discipline.&quot; (Holmes et al. , 2001) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Closer! pilot ethos <ul><li>New and emerging technologies should be explored to enable new and emerging learner‑centred pedagogies , finding innovation that has, until now, not been widely accessible. </li></ul><ul><li>(Hopefully) placing &quot; student responsibility and activity at its heart, in contrast to a strong emphasis on teacher control and coverage of academic content in much conventional, didactic teaching&quot; (Cannon & Newble, 2000) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Map making activity <ul><li>In pairs (1 minute each partner): </li></ul><ul><li>consider the models that emerged from the pilot </li></ul><ul><li>focus on the model number shown at the top of your handout </li></ul><ul><li>try to place it on map </li></ul><ul><li>(scan other ideas) </li></ul><ul><li>Then we will report back (5 minutes) </li></ul><ul><li>The next slide shows the results of the activity following a quick fire report back </li></ul>
  10. 10. 1 Audio Glossary 2 Professional briefings 3 Newscasting 4 Field Assignments 5 Clinical skills vodcasts 6 Learning stories 7 Audio announcements 8 Found audio 9 Peer assessed AF 10 Conversational AF 11 Broadcast AF 12 Audio Scaffolding 13 Tutor-student PC AF 14 Audio Conversations 15 Audio Summaries 16 Vox Pops 17 Audio Features 18 Audio FAQs 19 Global experts voices 20 Audio Introductions Place the ideas on the map <ul><li>Notes on the way the activity went: </li></ul><ul><li>- Participants had handouts that described each Model and explained each continuum </li></ul><ul><li>- There is a good spread of perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>- Indication that agreement over the flexible </li></ul><ul><li>ways in which audio can be integrated into the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>- Model applications are probably determined </li></ul><ul><li>by participant’s own perception of the context </li></ul><ul><li>Participants had just one minute to explore </li></ul><ul><li>each idea – more time may have resulted in </li></ul><ul><li>more than 1 answer each </li></ul><ul><li>There were divergent responses for each model during session (it’s highly subjective) and model applications are adaptable </li></ul><ul><li>Contact me for more the handout [email_address] </li></ul>Student-centred Teacher-centred Formal Informal A B C D 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
  11. 11. Other findings from Closer! <ul><li>Models: effective stimulus for creativity, not necessarily transferable </li></ul><ul><li>Audio supports academic incremental shift from teacher to learner-centredness </li></ul><ul><li>Audio can be rapidly deployed supporting timely intervention and currency </li></ul><ul><li>Academic commitment to explore further is constrained whilst audio models are perceived as supplementary (chicken and egg) </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed confidence and competence amongst staff and students is a real, but low, barrier </li></ul><ul><li>Informal and quick applications (eg ice breakers) may help </li></ul><ul><li>Scalability difficult – competence, equipment, interest, assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of process rather than product is often better </li></ul><ul><li>Students generally not familiar with producing media and with 'advanced' podcast features such as subscription </li></ul>
  12. 12. Main Conclusions <ul><li>Potential for wide-spread use: e.g. media intervention components and Constructionist approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Independent user production requires shift in competence and confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Best when clearly integrated (i.e. student: &quot;I'll do it if it's clear what the benefit will be&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a blended approach </li></ul><ul><li>Its role should not be 'over-stated' </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes creativity almost inevitably </li></ul><ul><li>Use of voice can soften hard, formal edges of text dominant VLEs by bringing a sense of personal presence and connectivity . </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>A draft research paper with references is available for comment at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Handout can be viewed at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>