Information Technology Services

Drop Shadow

Teaching and Learning


There are 3 types of podcasts:

  • Podcast (audio only)
  • Enhanced Podcast: (audio with images or slides)
  • Video Podcast: (audio and video)

Deciding which is best for you and your students, should be
done through a needs and cost/benefit analysis. Audio podcasts are the easiest to create and, as some research indicates, are twice as popular with students as other types *(Brittain, 2006). While audio is easy and popular, it is not always suitable for more visual subjects.

Content type for podcasting need also be considered; Lectures, which are longer in nature, and Supplementary Podcasts, which are often shorter. A table summarizing these appears here. For more detail on these two purposes, click the appropriate header below.

Podcasting Lectures
Supplementing Your Courses
Lecture Review Pre-Lecture Casts
Help Students Who Missed Class Post-Lecture Summaries
Provide Opportunity for Repetition Difficult Concept Casts
Check Comprehension/Notes Exam Review Casts
Formulate questions for Review Sessions Interviews/Presentations w/Experts
  Recorded Web conferences, Wimba Sessions
Other Content You Have Permission to Use

Podcasting Lectures

Perhaps the greatest resistance to podcasting is the idea that it will reduce class attendance. This assumes that you intend only to podcast your lectures, which is only one use of podcasting. Research presented below indicates that "Most students perceive lecture podcasts as a tool for review, rather than as a replacement for attending lectures"*(Malan, 2007).

A *survey conducted here at USD beginning October of 2008 indicates similar results. 72.8% of the 77 students who responded said they would not be likely to skip class if they knew podcasts of their lectures were available. Students reported that they would use the casts to check their comprehension and class notes for any inconsistencies. 97.4% of the polled students reported they would want podcasted lectures.

Professors will need to carefully determine class policies regarding attendance and podcasting. Several of the polled students suggested using podcasts of lectures, but making attendance part of the grade, or releasing the lecture podcasts one or more weeks later.

Supplementing Lectures with Podcasts

Pre-lecture casts are great for providing you classes with snippets of information that they can then be ready to discuss during the next class meeting. For professors who choose not to podcast lectures, as well as those who do, providing lecture summaries with the most important kernel(s) of information is useful for students. Then there are those topics that cause confusion for students each semester, often generating many similar questions. Further explanation and/or examples of these can be casted without the need for a full lecture cast., saving time for the professor in repeatedly answer the same questions, while providing another opportunity for students to learn.

Exam reviews can take the place or enhance pre-exam review sessions, offering students the ability to repeat the sessions as need, ensuring that may catch as much information as possible, often reconciling it with preconceptions, their notes and their understanding of the text.

Interviews with experts, either that have been on campus or recorded remotely through web conferences or webinars can bring the outside world into the class easily through podcasting. As well, any audio or video that you have permission to use can be casted as supplements to lectures and text. Pod casters are kindly reminded to review the copyright, fair use and Legal guides found on the quick links page prior to placing the content up for public consumption.


pdf *Carnegie Mellon, Podcasting: A Teaching with Technology White Paper, June 2007.
pdf  *USD Podcasting Survey Results, Begun October 2008