A podcast is an episodic series of digital recordings, where digital audio files are made available for download. Listeners are often able to subscribe to the series to receive updates on new content.
Podcasts can be incorporated into your curriculum to introduce new topics to students through explanations, interviews that offer different perspectives or reflections on current events in the context of course content.
An effective medium when incorporated into the curriculum, podcasts can be particularly good for:
- Introducing topics — Use podcasts to frame topics within your curriculum
- Interviewing — Incorporate interviews to provide different perspectives and a basis for discussion
Planning your podcasts against your curriculum will give you an overall aim. However, each individual recording should also have its own plan. If you are interviewing, you should structure questions in a logical order that allows an argument to build. If you are reflecting on current events, be aware of the perspectives of different outlets.
In what context do you expect your students will listen to your recordings? Ensure that the length of the podcast is reasonable. Use this time frame to structure your episode. Consider using an anecdote or case study as a structural element to frame your podcast, as follows:
- Introduce the topic
- Explore the related anecdote
- Contextualise within the course
- Summarise the information
Consider including a transcript of your podcast. This will assist students with specific learning needs, aid comprehension for non-native speakers, and provide the basis for note-taking.
It is not necessary to provide studio quality recordings. However, the quality should be reasonable enough that students are able to listen without issue. Consider the following:
- Use a microphone of adequate quality
- Ensure proximity to the microphone does not capture disturbances, e.g. rustling paper, deep breaths, etc.
- Carry out recordings in private, away from distractions
Recording Podcasts: What tools are available?
This open-source platform is easy-to-use and includes a multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.