Podcasts: Do students use them? (2014)

Stephen Robertson, Edinburgh Napier University

This study investigates podcast usage in a large undergraduate Business Studies Module (240 students). The main data for this study was taken from Moodle logs which capture actual usage over the course of the term. Four different types of podcasts were made available to students: full recordings of the weekly lecture, short animations that explained the assessment components, short audio podcasts for revision purposes and Livescribe Pencasts to assist in end of term revision.

Findings suggest that students make limited use of the lectures podcasts over the term (22%) although more students use these as part of their revision (41.2%). The Pencasts proved to be the most popular form of podcast in terms of both the number of students using the tools (84.1%) and the number of times they were replayed (1510). The short animations were used by a majority of students (73.1%).

This study is part of a long-term study of student use of blended tools within large undergraduate modules but this data provides an interesting insight into student behaviour that can assist academic staff seeking to enhance their teaching. Students make most use of podcast material at revision time and this study indicates that students prefer short, informal audio-visual material directly related to their final exams.

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