First Edition-Summer-2008


Professor in my iPod: How you can use the new Podcast tool in Blackboard to reach your students anywhere
by: Christopher Neidig | Distance Learning Support Specialist

If you are teaching a course here at Quinnipiac, you may have noticed the new ‘Manage Podcast’ link available through the Control Panel. Learning Objects®, a third-party vendor of Blackboard plug-ins, has recognized the popularity and effectiveness of Podcasting for education and has simplified the process of delivering Podcasts directly through your Blackboard course(s).

What exactly is a Podcast?
Podcasting” a portable digital audio player that allows users to download music from their computer directly to the device for subsequent listening. The term refers to any software and hardware combination that permits the automated download of audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) for listening at the user’s convenience. Unlike traditional radio or other Web-based streaming media, podcasts give listeners control over when they hear the recording. Podcasting makes use of the Internet’s Real Simple Syndication (RSS) standard. It differs from broadcasting and Webcasting in the way that content is published and transmitted via the Web. Instead of a central audio stream, Podcasting sends audio content directly to an iPod or other MP3 player.

Significance for Higher Education
Creating podcasts can extend the classroom. They provide students with on-the-go access to:

  • Review sessions
  • Study guides
  • Recorded lectures
  • Assignment instructions
  • Guest lectures & interviews

Here are some other examples of educational use of Podcasts:

1. Pre-class preparation. You could create an audio file for your students to listen to before class, providing background information for an in class discussion topic.

2. Post-class clarification. If there was a topic you wanted to discuss with the class, but did not have enough time to get to it, or if you want to keep the discussion going, you can create a Post-class episode and ask students to continue the discussion in their BlackBoard Discussion Board.

3. Review sessions. Create extra sessions for students who are behind, or who would like to review as much as possible.

4. Engaging Assignments. Consider having students create and post their own podcasts.

To deliver a Podcast using Blackboard, you need to know how to record in MP3 format and upload your recorded file into Blackboard. It’s easy! If you have ever attached a document to an email or uploaded a document into Blackboard, you can do the same with a recorded MP3 file. Blackboard automatically organizes and creates a “Podcast” for you.

It is important to realize the Podcast feature in Blackboard allows for only the instructor to post audio files, not students. There are other options if you are interested in having your students create and post Podcasts.

If you would like assistance in creating a Podcast, please contact Christopher Neidig, Distance Learning Support Specialist for QU Online by email Chris assists faculty with creating Podcasts for their online classes.



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