Podcasts in educational use

Podcasts are audio recordings similar to radio shows. They can be one person’s speech or a conversation between more people. The popularity of podcasts has risen over the past several years and their topics range from entertaining content to factual. Podcasts have also found their way into educational use and are a good platform for scientific knowledge as well.

Podcasts allow teaching to diversify as well as take into account a variety of learners. Podcasts bring flexibility to study when learning is done by listening fully place-independent. Podcasts also offer variability to study when learning can take place, for example, while jogging or traveling. Of course, the skills of students and the learning objectives of the course should be taken into account when podcasts are used in courses.

How could podcasts be exploited in teaching?

  • Lectures
  • Introductory Materials
  • Additional materials
  • As a learning task: students can act as podcast contributors, which can lead to deeper learning.

N.B. Once-made podcast recordings can also be utilized with other implementations.

What do I need?

Making podcasts is not technically very demanding and at its simplest you could do a podcast episode even on a smartphone. However, for the sake of sound quality, you should prefer a separate microphone.

To make a podcast, you will need:

  • Computer
  • A space suitable for making a recording, with no echo. To remove the echo will help soft surfaces (such as carpets, sofas, curtains). Tip: in home conditions, for example, already with a few properly placed cushions can affect sound quality.
  • Using a separate microphone, the sound quality can be significantly better than, for example, with a computer built-in microphone.
  • A program for making a recording, as well as editing a recording. For example, Audacity is used by the higher education community.
  • Publishing platform for podcast, for example, Panopto.

For example, a new Vodcast/Podcast studio in TAMK’s Kuntokatu office is available and new users can get guidance on how to use the space from an AV support person.

N.B. From IT Helpdesk, you can ask equipments for borrow if necessary.

What do I need to do?

In making a podcast episode, start with manuscript and planning. Podcasts work well with a familiar structure from essays: initiation, topic processing and end. Once an episode is planned and scheduled, recording can begin. Editing a finished audio file may include, for example, adding an initial intro, cutting content, or deleting background noise. Once the episode is recorded and edited, it is ready for release on a selected platform.

Members of the Tampere Universities Community can receive support for making a podcast from the Learning Lab.

What should I take into account?

  • In the educational use of podcasts, it’s good to note that podcasts lack interaction.