Lee, M. W., McLoughlin, C., & Chan, A. (2008). Talk the talk: Learner-generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 39(3), 501-521.
Hew, K. (2009). Use of Audio Podcast in K-12 and Higher Education: A Review of Research Topics and Methodologies. Educational Technology and Research Development, 57(3), 333-357.
Carter, C. (2012). Instructional Audio Guidelines: Four Design Principles to Consider for Every Instructional Audio Design Effort. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 56(6), 54-58.
Edirisingha, P. & Popova, A. (2009). Podcasting: A Learning Technology. In S. Mishra ed. Elearning. New Delhi: IGNOU, 2009, 66-69.
You will need to log into the TRU library to access these readings. The link will first take you to a login page where your student number and birthdate (YYMMDD) will get you access.
These readings provide one strong example of audio as a student communication tool (Lee) and an overview of the research on audio use so far (Hew). As you read these two articles I want you to consider some of the questions they raise and how these questions could impact your use of audio in the classroom. I’ll add my two cents here and you can feel free to add yours as a comment on this page as well.
In these readings I think you should avoid being hung up on the use of terms like ‘podcasting’ and treat all these descriptions as examples of the medium of audio. In many cases explanations are given about decisions made because of poor internet connectivity or bandwidth limits. I would argue that today well designed audio needn’t make any of the concessions these authors have described. Canadians have near total access to broadband internet and subscription to broadband is growing among all demographic profiles.
Most of the studies reviewed by Hew were of audio used with students in a face-to-face learning situation. Does the way you consider podcasts change if you are in a strictly distance environment? I find that it shifts from a gadgety add-on to a humanizing element with a role as a consistent (though not necessarily pervasive) element in a course. Hew also finds that there is little evidence for a meaningful advantage to using audio in education. I would argue that this has more to do with the way audio is designed and delivered to students. If audio is used to promote principles developed by Mayer or Lohr I think it is quite effective, even on its own.
The last two readings are short and provide some practical advice on the design and creation of audio. They are short but well worth your time.