This paper describes a collaboration between two lecturers at Edinburgh Napier University to examine the potential of lecture captures as pedagogical tools. Although podcasts had not been extensively used in the authors' immediate teaching environment, anecdotal evidence suggested they were effective tools to support student learning.
Previous literature concerning student use of podcasts has tended to focus on questionnaires to explore their perceived helpfulness to the student. The authors argue that this method alone, whilst generating important data, cannot give a complete picture of the use and value of podcasts to the student cohort. In order to gain deeper insight into actual use and relevance which could not be derived accurately from questionnaires, the authors carried out an analysis of longitudinal quantitative data from 100% of seven large undergraduate student cohorts for which lecture captures had been made available as podcasts. They established that podcasts allow a flexibility of consumption and consistency of support that are particularly beneficial in large teaching modules. Students across all cohorts demonstrated consistent, strategic behaviour when choosing what material to access over the course of the module, and both captured and created content was extensively used.
Following on from these findings, the next logical step is to establish the usefulness of podcasts to the students who accessed them. The collection of qualitative data from these cohorts allows us to triangulate these two sources of evidence in order to develop a better understanding of the effective of podcasts. .
Moodle logs provided quantitative data from 100% of the student cohort. Qualitative data were collected from the same cohort in the form of an optional online questionnaire which was issued after the final exam. 46% of the cohort completed the questionnaire, which contained questions specifically designed to gauge the usefulness of the podcasts over the course of the module.
Using a grounded theory approach, the authors compare the two sets of data along with a thematic analysis of the free text comments captured during the questionnaire.
At the time of writing the authors have collected both types of data from one large cohort (n=158), but the findings are nonetheless consistent enough to be able to draw initial conclusions.
A strong correlation exists between documented usage of podcasts and their perceived usefulness by students. Students observed that the value gained by attending a lecture is often enhanced by listening to the podcast. Podcasts enable the student to engage with the module outside the classroom, allowing them to review and develop their existing notes at their own pace, and to gain a deeper level of understanding of the theory underpinning the module.
Whether the material is captured or created, these podcasts make an important contribution to the enhancement of face to face teaching.
Robertson, S., & Sholl, S. (2016, November). Changing lecture consumption for the 'Netflix generation': how lecture podcasts are used and valued by students. Presented at ICERI 2016, Seville, Spain