Podcasting past and present in Politics

I picked up an old journal article on podcasting from 2010: Pol-Casting: The Use of Podcasting in the Teaching and Learning of Politics and International Relations by Jason Ralph, Naomi Head and Simon Lightfoot of the School of Politics and International Studies, at the University of Leeds. It was still interesting for a number of reasons. Podcasting (as distinct from merely making audio files available) relied on RSS – which seems to me to be on its last legs despite being a very useful standard!  Many of the results of podcasting studies (including the Impala projects my then colleagues at the University of Leicester worked on) are at least partly relevant to serving of audio files as well. For example, students liked audio files / podcasts and they still do, although now, they like video even more (so current surveys seem to show anyway).

The authors concluded that it helps if equipment is easy to get hold of, so available cheaply and easily or provided locally in the School or centrally by the institution’s learning technology team. These days you can record and upload audio simply with a smartphone or a tablet: the barriers are lower now that equipment isn’t difficult to get hold of. audio doesnt replace lecturesStudents were encouraged to create their own “podules” – brief lecture/seminar summaries, which would seem to still be a useful strategy.

The result I also like is that when they surveyed the students about their attitudes they didn’t see audio files as replacing lectures (the same is by extension true of video). However there was an early move towards “flipped classroom” in the discovery that ‘There is, it seems, no obstacle either to replacing or to supplementing the traditional presentation with a student podcast’. There were very real benefits to student learning from using both lecturer-prepared and student-created podcasts  (or audio files).

It’s enough to encourage you to try it…

European Political Science (2010) 9, 13–24. doi:10.1057/eps.2009.38   & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 http://www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/journal/v9/n1/pdf/eps200938a.pdf   Accessed 11/07/13