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Podcast vs. Lecture

April 9, 2009

A recent study compared the performance of students who attended a lecture in person and those who viewed a podcast of the lecture.  It was conducted at a university in an introductory psychology course – the final score…. Podcast 71, Lecture 62.  According to the researchers, note taking had the biggest impact. The podcast students were able to go back and review material and take notes.  Additionally, those who simply listened multiple times to the lecture performed slightly better on the exam than those who sat at the lecture.  However, it should be noted that on average those who took notes from the podcast did the best.

Those of you who follow the blogs here on the SAS site know we have been “podcasting” a fair amount of student work recently.  We have only begun to provide work to students in similar formats, with Ms. Jen Denzin leading the way into the virtual content delivery world at the high school.  Ms. Staci Nazareth is pushing the envelope on that front at the middle school level.

Personally, I still have a lot to learn about best practices in providing content in a podcast format.  While the study shows the positive impact at the university level – the implications for K-12 are clear – our students learn using readily accessible technology in ways many of us don’t yet embrace.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. David Friese permalink
    April 16, 2009 12:18 pm


    Research would indicate the more senses involved will have an impact on learning. Learning is not a docile activity, it takes active participation. I would imagine that both the note taking and the ability to review the pod cast had a direct impact on the students success. Other things to consider would be the effectiveness of the lecturer in hold the audiences attention.

  2. Staci Nazareth permalink
    April 20, 2009 8:43 am

    I really am excited to move the podcasting from student creation to teacher creation here at the middle school. So far, while we have produced hundreds of student podcasts and movies so far, we have only produced 1 teacher podcast that I know. I was able to talk our art teacher, Mr. Charles Couasnon, into video taping some of his art demonstrations. He had a student film him cutting and working with clay. Each of the demonstrations was then posted on his Moodle site. His students will now be able to view the demos if they miss class, a task which otherwise would have been so time consuming for him to repeat when the student returned to class.

    I have ideas for lots more teacher podcasts and am working on a way to make them easy and painless for my teachers (foreign language lessons, lectures in history, lab demos in science). I’ll have to purchase more camera and tripods, or iPods with mics, or standalone computer mics, but I think it’s worth it. I do think that once they get used to it, this style of delivering lessons will actually be a big help to the teachers and the students.

    Just keeping you all up to date.

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