Thursday, April 16, 2009

Podcast vs. Lecture

The April 2009 issue of eSchool News (page 20) reports on a study conducted by the State University of New York Fredonia. The study, “iTunes University and the Classroom: Can Podcasts Replace Professors?” asked some students to watch a recorded lecture, via podcast, and others to attend the classroom lecture. From the article:

Students who watched the lecture podcast—available from the iTunes U online video library—scored an average of 71 percent. Students who sat through the 30-minute classroom lecture scored an average of 62 percent, according to the study. ... test scores were most dramatically affected by note taking. Students who watched the video lecture and took notes ... scored an average of 15 points higher than their peers in the lecture hall. ... They listened to [the podcast] over and over,” ... Examining the notes taken by students who participated in the study, ... it was clear many students took advantage of the pause and rewind buttons. ... People stop the podcast as they go along ... [some] professors often go too quickly through lecture slides, giving students little time to jot down notes.

The study also noted the following observations:

  • Just as inattentive students in a classroom will not be properly prepared, students viewing podcasts without taking notes and paying attention will also be unprepared.
  • Podcasts are a tool, and must be used properly; students still need to do the work.
  • Only 20% watched the podcasts on a mobile device; 80% watched the podcasts on their computers.
For instructors who think the use of podcasts will keep students out of the classroom:
More than 90 percent of students said they preferred “traditional lectures with computer-based learning as a supplement for revising” their notes.

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