Use Podcasting with Higher Education Students

| July 16, 2010

Walls, S. M., Kucsera, J. V., Walker J. D., Taylor, W. A., McVaugh, N. K., & Robinson, D. H. (2010). Podcasting in education: Are students as ready and eager as we think they are? Computers & Education, 54, 371-378.

Article Review

Walls, et al ‘s (2010) study explores higher education students’ perceptions of podcasting for academic purposes, including their readiness and attitudes towards two forms of podcasting: repetitive and supplemental. Walls et al. gave pre and post questionnaires to 50 students who were enrolled in a traditional business class at the beginning and end of a spring semester. Instructors in the business course used the two different formats of podcasting content throughout the semester for students to download. The findings demonstrate descriptive statistics, reflecting students’ readiness and attitudes toward podcasting technology for repetitive or supplemental content. Results include students’ familiarity with podcasting drastically changed and students gave positive evaluation of podcasting, which was perceived as contributing to learning by the majority (95%). However, the study also found more favorable attitudes appeared for the supplemental rather than the repetitive podcasting in pre and post interventions. Overall, findings indicate that educators should be cautious in assuming that students are ready for and knowledgeable about podcasting technology.

This study serves as a good example in using descriptive data. The design of giving students two different forms of podcasting material makes it an interesting study. The data analysis was further strengthened by collecting pre and post course perceptions and making comparisons.

EdLab Connections
This study offers insights for potential future research studies we could design at the EdLab. With a sample size of about 50, we could also conduct studies involving descriptive data in an interesting way. For any future testing of prototype learning tools, we might consider gathering participants’ reported data at different stages and making comparisons. Or, we might also design a study investigating participants’ views of certain library online courses: supplementary mini course and repetitive mini course related to a Teachers College physical course of the same topic.