Leveraging Podcasting in Contemporary Courses


Author: Jeremy Magnan



While many students find the allure of going to class from home (the online modality) attractive, many find it difficult when it comes to committing to set timelines and work-flow dates. To compensate for this, setting regular intervals for direct communication with the instructor can be helpful because such a model reflects what they may have previously experienced in on-ground courses. Podcasting offers a communicative avenue that is free and conducive to the schedules of all parties involved. While the downside may be splitting a single section into groups with specifically accessible times, the benefits are many and include direct communication, reassurance for the students, and data-driven engagement.


To stay current with students' interests and multimedia lives, it is important for instructors to meet these needs by including a variety of instructional tools, specifically Web 2.0 tools. In this course, learners will be guided through the use of Audacity to easily add an auditory dynamic to their own classes in the form of either pre-recorded or live podcasts.

The following topics will be covered:

  • What are the benefits of podcasting in context of education?
  • How to download and navigate the features of the Audacity software.
  • How to produce a piece of test audio to self-evaluate.
  • How to archive podcast audio to the Blackboard LMS.

Performance Objectives

  1. Using the framework provided in this mini-course, learners will experience the pros of using podcast audio as a supplement to their classes.
  2. Given the strategies and tools from this mini-course, learners will design a lesson plan to leverage podcast audio as a supplement to in-class instruction. Because this is dynamic in relation to its place within a variety of course contexts, learners will be given a variety of potential integration techniques.
  3. Participants will produce at least one short piece of test audio allowing them hands-on practice with the Audacity software and its features.
  4. Participants will be guided through the archiving of their audio into a learning management system. Blackboard archiving will be used as an example, though the process is similar in a large variety of LMS platforms.

Begin with Unit 1 below and proceed through this mini-course.

Unit 1: Why Podcasting for Courses?

Objective: Participants will be able to articulate the benefits of podcasts as a supplement to existing course structures.

Unit 2: Downloading, Navigating, and Recording in Audacity

Objective: Participants will be able to access and identify the features of the Mixlr client.

Unit 3: Advanced Production and Blackboard Uses

Objective: Participants will further explore options available in Audacity including deleting and importing audio. In addition, a variety of uses for podcasts of all lengths in Blackboard will be reivewed.


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