What I thought of the podcast . . .
I definitely enjoyed the spring, 06 podcast which I listened to on Saturday, March 04, 2006. I was quite amazed at how much content was covered and what I gained from it. Three major areas were discussed that were quite different, but yet tied together important instructional design themes. I particular liked the presentation of an interesting and real-world instructional design problem and the opportunities to think about how this problem might be resolved. The pod-in-a-pod feature that then discussed the problem and its solution was particularly informative and helped illuminate the issues and problems.
The review of chapters 8 and 9 were very good and the third segment of the podcast – instructional design implications on dissertation research was enlightening. I hadn’t really considered the close parallels between instructional design and field research. I was particularly appreciative of Steve’s own description of his applied research in this regard. “War stories” from the trenches are typically additive and illuminates how the Dick and Carey model of ID can be practically applied.
The drawback, of course, is that asynchronous podcasting, generally, is a one-way form of communication with no chance of immediately reacting\responding to the content.
Thoughts on podcasting for Curry faculty
I suppose that one of first things that come to mind regarding educational podcasting would be the capture of in class-lectures. A number of advantages exist here including the ability to play asynchronously after class to further reflect on ideas presented or just to hear the lecture in case the class was missed due to weather, sickness or any other reason. From personal experience, I’ve found that international students are particularly appreciative of being able to have asynchronous access to audio and video lectures. The other advantage of capturing a “live” lecture is having also captured interaction with students regarding questions and response.
Although I would expect many teachers to disagree, my feeling is that much of a “standard” lecture, depending on the topic and discipline, can and should be automated so that teachers and students can concentrate more on deeper levels of the subject matter. One could argue that the "best" lecture (well though out and articulated as well as complete) - albeit a canned one - would be better than a mediocre lecture digitally captured in the classroom.
The ID podcast is an engaging and different way to deliver content. Take the ID podcast for example and compare to Friday review sessions. True, we didn’t have a chance to ask questions (class blog for this?) and face-to-face interaction is always good with the instructor and classmates. But, three major topics were covered in a little over 35 minutes and the effort included an embedded podcast from the BBC that was interesting and germane to the overall theme. I'm not sure we would have covered all of this in our "live" sessons. This is a major pedagogic use of podcasting that should be explored further: the ability to mix-and-match audio and video resources as well as interactive content that contribute to learning. Embedded at appropriate points in an overall instructional podcast might be:
A famous speech, lecture or presentation (audio and video) that reinforces the main idea.
· Instructions to stop the podcast to:
o Pause and reflect
o Take an online quiz (practice or formal assessment)
o Practice a motor skill
o Pose your questions re chat or blog.
At this point in time, you may have to manually guide learners to other resources, e.g., video sites; testing sites requiring login, better ways to integrate these different resources and activities will arrive on the scene shortly. In fact, there real value is to take other ancillary resources and wrap it around a major resource (lecture podcast, for example) and tools to do this have been around for some years now. MS Producer, a free tool from Microsoft, allows you to insert audio and synch up with ppt slides and hyperlinks. So, I think the real value of podcasting other than for “niche” type of resource delivery, is to integrate it with other instructionally enriching activities that engage and motivate the learner.
Another way that I think podcasting can be effective for Curry and all educators is to use them to deliver pre and post instructional information to increase learning readiness or to reinforce learning. I would like to use Steve’s example of podcasting in the PHP class where he delivers the main points of the class, reemphasizes thorny problems and reminds the learner of the assignment and the upcoming class. Good stuff! Pre-instructionally, students could be asked to listen to a podcast (pod-in-a-pod), reflect on the contents and be prepared to discuss a specific topic or do an activity.
What were you doing when . . . .
Not a very good multi-tasker, I printed off the assignment and previewed the rubric before listening to the podcast. I was kicked back in my strato-lounger in my apartment with music playing in the background. I replayed several segments, paused to fix dinner and resumed the podcast while I ate.