Using podcasts in your course: Getting started

The following recording is from the “Using podcasts in your course: Getting started”  webinar conducted by Natasha Taylor and Lisa Curran, producers of the Open Classroom series.

During this session participants were taken through the processes for making a podcast and the different ways to embed them in courses. The session covered:

  • Developing a clear vision (what is your theme, who are your audience and interviewees?)
  • Equipment
  • How to record your podcast
  • How to edit your podcast
  • Where to publish your podcast
  • Ways of using your podcast in your teaching (engaging students and provoking discussion)

All of the tools discussed are free and easy to use, see the additional resources list below.

Additional Resources:

There are a number of great guides available on the web to guide you through the steps on creating a podcast. Here’s a couple that we’ve used to help create our planning process:

There are also numerous videos on YouTube that guide you through the steps of creating a podcast such as this one below which provides tips on creating your podcast intro & outro and instructions on how to bring it all together in Audacity.

Recording your podcast

Equipment:

Software:

It depends on the type of podcast you are recording as to what you will use. For instance if you are recording a monologue then you will just need an application that records from your PC such as Audacity. If you are recording an interview where you are not in the same place to record you will need to setup a meeting either via Skype for business or Microsoft Teams. Both have a recording function.  However please note on the phone app Skype for business does not have the record functionality, you would need to use Skype and setup a personal account.

If you would like to include personalised artwork on your Podcast channel try one of Canva’s free graphic design templates.

Editing your podcast

  • Audacity – Is free of charge open source, cross-platform audio software, which you can download here. You can also access the manual on how to use Audacity here.
  • Adobe Audition is available free of charge as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of software at RMIT. Access via the RMIT software centre in your applications menu. (PC & Mac)
  • Apple Garageband is freely available on your Mac.

Improving accessibility

If you are going to be using a podcast in your teaching make sure they are accessible, that is a transcript available or formatted document summary.

There are a range of transcription tools and options, to discuss your specific needs contact SEH.ADG.LET@rmit.edu.au

Publishing your podcast

  • Anchor is a free all-in-one platform where you can create and distribute your podcast from any device.  Anchor provides a number of video tutorials on podcasting here.
  • Open Classrooms uses the paid application SoundCloud. For more information on SoundCloud go here.

Here’s a collection of some of our favourite edu-podcasts … have fun exploring!

What does the literature say?

  • Podcasting for Learning in Universities  (by Palitha Edirisingha & Gilly Salmon) is a useful book because it presents the different ways podcasts can be used in different learning contexts (lectures, practicals, online learning etc.) Like much of the literature on podcasting in education, it dates back to more than a decade ago (2008), when podcasting first emerged as a new tool, but it withstands the test of time quite well.
  • This more recent article provides a useful evidence base for understanding how/when students engage with podcasts and the effects on their learning: Merhi, MI (2015) ‘Factors influencing higher education students to adopt podcast: An empirical study‘, Computers & Education, Volume 83, April 2015, Pages 32-43.