Friday, 5 September 2008

Ps in Podcast

Rose Clark gave a very insightful overview of a podcasting project she has been involved with at the University of Portsmouth. She discussed the problem of creating podcasts that do not inspire or motivate the students. This is particularly important for video podcasts. Her paper discussed the differing attitudes of staff using podcasts and how creating podcasts led to heightened self-consciousness among the tutors. The staff feedback highlighted the difficulties associated with using podcasts in place of face-to-face teaching, in particular the difficulty the loss of spontaneous interaction between staff and students.

Rose considered the issues surrounding the planning of podcasts, including scripting and the use of audiovisual cues. She discussed the possibility of using podcasts for participatory learning across cohorts of students explained the example of how this works in practice at Portsmouth.

Her presentation raises the question of whether some technologies are, to coin administrative jargon, fit-for-purpose. There is clearly a need to ensure that the students feel the benefit for using the technology. If they feel that the podcasts are an inferior substitute to face-to-face teaching (by removing the spontaneity of the f2f classroom), there is a risk that students will be hostile to their use and this could consequently have a detrimental effect on their learning. Maybe a challenge here for all of us.

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