Podcasts & Podcasting New_Media_Podcast.png

Select a podcast topic below or scroll down to read all about podcasting:

What is a podcast?

Podcasting — or more simply, creating an audio recording — is an excellent way to get students engaged with learning about an area of their chosen subject, as well as challenging them to use and improve their communication skills within the context of their normal coursework.
A podcast-related activity can be built into a lecture course or in the lab, can be group work or individual assessment, and can be a short activity or a long-term formative assessment.

Benefits Benefits of Podcasting Assignments - read here

InformationTips for creating podcasts

Create What you need to create & edit a podcast

To create a podcast, you will need a recording device. Most computers have an inbuilt microphone and many mobile phoes can now record too. Other possibilities include lecture rooms where there is normally a microphone (but remember your audience questions will not be recorded) and recording studios.
Podcast creation may be aided by having a script and/or a storyboard which relate back to the aim of the exercise.
You may wish to edit your podcast and this can often be done on the program you recorded it on. Software programs are also available to create and edit your podcast, such as Audacity, Garageband (mac) and other podcasting software. Read a review of podcasting software.

ShareHow to make your podcast available

You need a platform on which to upload your podcast. This may be one created within your University or may be a public one such as itunesU, Podbean or My Brainshark (useful for multimedia projects) .You may also find it useful to promote your podcasts on social media.
It is suggested that podcasts be assessed, revised and/or edited by course supervisors prior to uploading to a public platform. Example assessments here .
Read our checklist and evaluation of platforms external image pdf.png Platform evaluation Aug 2010.pdf

View What you need to listen to a podcast

Most computers are already equipped with files that can listen to podcasts. Any software that plays an mp3 file, such as iTunesor Windows Media Player , (both of these work on PCs and Macs) will work. Just click on the podcast and your computer should start playing it. You may be able to save the podcast to listen to it at another time, even scheduled podcasts (try Juicereceiver) or store it on your computer. You can also listen on your mp3 player.
Many regular podcasts enable you to subscribe to them. To do this you will need a piece of software that can handle RSS feeds. A number of newsreaders are available . More here.

Need more help?

Articles on podcasting

Student_assignment_examples Science podcasts examples

First year chemistry podcast assignment
  • Students work in groups to produce a 3-minute audio presentation about a concept from their first-year science lab class — in Chemistry, for example, it might be “oxidation-reduction” or “acids and bases”.
  • The assessment is worth 5% of their final mark for the course.
  • Students are instructed to focus on telling a good story: set the scene, concentrate on beginning-middle-end, give examples and provide strong opening and conclusion.
  • They submit their podcasts to the class space on their university discussion board (e.g. WebCT), and each student gives feedback on five other podcasts through an online quiz.
  • Group work is assessed by lecturer or tutors, as well as by members of group through peer and self assessment.
  • Podcasts deemed the best can be made available on the university’s public website.
  • Sample student handout.
In this example, the activity contributes a small but significant amount to their final mark. There is no provision for re-working the podcast based on feedback, but students are expected to engage in critically evaluating their own and others’ work. Criteria are clearly defined and the assessment process is very transparent.

For further reading on this assignment:

Assessment For Assessment tips and ideas, please go to our Assessment wiki page

Links General links to science podcasts

Examples of science podcasts

Examples of student podcasts