In this final podcast of the series, Steven Bishop and Lisa Smith, sit down with Kelsey Huebchen, a Douglas College student who was enrolled in GSWS 2101 and completed a podcast as part of her course work. From an instructor perspective, Lisa discusses some of the benefits of exploring podcasting as a pedagogical and evaluative tool. Kelsey reflects on some of the differences between producing a podcast and writing a research paper.
Lisa recommends instructors keep in mind the following if considering podcasting as an assignment:
1) Introduce the idea early on in the course.
In my class, I discussed the podcast assignment in-depth on the first day of class and had printed copies of the assignment guideline. I took time to go through this with students to ensure that they understood that this was a part of the course and that they would have time to acquire the skills / knowledge required to complete this assignment.
2) Identify student skills and concerns early on.
In the second course of the semester, I had students work in groups to complete a questionnaire that identified concerns about the podcasting assignment, as well as any existing skills that they already had that would be helpful for this project (for example, do you know how to use the voice recorder on your phone). Following this, we conducted a “skills inventory” of the class as whole. This was really helpful for identifying the different skills that students already had, but also which students might be able to provide assistance to others.
3) Keep podcasting as a subtle, but constant theme throughout the course
Each week, we would listen to a podcast in class. This allowed us to use podcasts as a way to get further into topics we were reading about, but also allowed me to share different kinds of podcasts with students to demonstrate that there were different ways to approach this assignment. Students enjoyed discussing the subject matter in the podcasts, as well as the various elements of production.
4) Focus evaluation on the planning / organization / research for the podcast.
For this assignment, only a portion of the total grade was based on the actual finished product. Further, students were not graded on the technical quality of the podcast.
5) Establish a reasonable time limit for the final podcast product.
As an instructor, keep in mind that you will need to listen to ALL the podcasts. Be sure to consider how much time is reasonable for you to spend listening to podcasts at the end of term.