Using Podcasts for Teaching

The second Academy Forum session this year focused on creating podcasts in Panopto. The discussion emphasised podcasts’ unique potential for facilitating a sense of connection. Usually based on informal monologues, interviews and discussions podcasts provide their users with opportunities to listen in to unconstructed reflections and conversations. As explained by Street (2014) audio storytelling creates a ‘partnership between imagination and memory’ triggering a unique and personal reaction to it (as cited in McHugh, 2014, p.143). Podcasts can provide us with company; unlike with videos or written texts, we can listen to them during other daily activities.

These unique properties of podcasts hold great potential for its use in education. University of Cambridge created a collection of short podcasts from various subject areas. Podcasts are also used by individual educators, Ian Wilson, a Senior Lecturer in Education at York St John University Ian Wilson created a series of podcasts aimed at supporting learners on placements. His podcast focused on providing students with instructions on what the students should be doing the following week, answering any of their questions and providing some motivational advice. Although podcasting may not necessarily be the best solution for delivering the key learning material, as discussed during the Academy Forum session, it can complement your current teaching practice by fostering reflection, increasing learner’s engagement and foster a sense of community.

There are several ways of using podcasting in teaching; from using existing podcasts in your subject area to creating your own podcasts or asking students to create one. Panopto, the University’s Lecture Capture software, in addition to recording lectures, can also be used to record podcasts. If you were to record a conversation, this can be easily done by using MS Teams. This Using Podcasts in Teaching Handout provides further instructions on using Panopto and MS Teams in creating podcasts. It also outlines some examples of good practice and top tips on creating, designing, and releasing podcasts.

As always, we could provide you with support in finding the best way to use this tool in your teaching practice:

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