ELI: Preparing Faculty for Academic Podcasting

  • Michael Burke, Technologies Integration Specialist, The University of Tennessee
  • Susannah Finley, Visual Design Specialist, The University of Tennessee
  • Joan Thomas, Manager, Visual Design Development, The University of Tennessee
  • Abstract
    The University of Tennessee’s “Podsquad” will demonstrate one path to a successful academic podcasting initiative, including the process of faculty development and creating a homegrown podcasting service. We’ll review initial outcomes, faculty and student perceptions of the project, and speculate on the future of academic podcasting at the university.

    Innovative Technology Center at UTenn

    This is great! Their presentation is online here. As a result I will try and only record my comments and thoughts, not their content.

    The audio sample “Down in the Dissertation Dumps” is amusing. Listen to it here.

    (Unrelated note: most of the people in the room have their notebooks out and while there have been a number of anti-Apple comments made at the meeting, see Bryan’s lecture yesterday, the majority of people in this podcasting session are using Macs. Apple is here and did a couple of GarageBand workshops yesterday.)

    Current speaker mentioned a couple of key ways of using podcasting outside of the classroom that we have thought of and occasionally implemented: Students traveling and recording their thoughts and events; guest lecturers, and so on.

    Foreign language is an obvious place for podcasting… This example included having the students listen to it on their mp3 player, giving directions to walk around campus, write down what they see, etc. That is clever! Getting them to engage with the language very directly. I like this idea.

    Peer institutions. We aren’t on the list. šŸ™ Berkeley, Stanford, MIT. Berkeley lists the courses with podcast subscriptions. Very nice.

    They asked Apple to come on campus and did a workshop with their staff and 6 faculty. First Apple did a “dog and pony show” for all the faculty, handed out a survey to gauge interest, and then went on to the workshop for the faculty already committed. Did a summer institute for training. Most of the faculty were in fact Windows based and so they invested in some equipment. They incorporated video right away. They used Sony wireless mic (lavallière) and I think that is what I need. Better than a iPod whose battery life is suspect. Right Steve? šŸ˜‰ Hmm. I could also just use my little digital voice recorder (like stenographers use nowadays) and just clip it on my jacket? They provided the kits that could be checked out. The faculty are able to directly set up their course podcast site (outside of Blackboard) on a G5 server they set up themselves.

    I know that ETS is already doing many of these things. I look forward to talking with Cole and John about how we might be able to use our Honors faculty for a pilot across disciplines.

    The next step was how to train faculty…. They created self-paced (cross-platform) tutorials. They also help with development of real production of “stories,” vidcasting with story-board, script, production, etc.

    Implementation & Results

  • Journalism
  • – Student Multimedia Assignments

  • Nursing
  • – Case Studies

  • Business Management
  • – Supplemental Information, Repetition

    Key here is that they have a good breakdown of the process:

  • Instructional Objective
  • Faculty Tasks
  • Student Tasks
  • ITC Support
  • Results
  • One of the most striking things about UTenn’s program is that the staff do a LOT of work with and for the faculty. The support is amazing: they provide training, equipment, post-production help, etc.

    The have a number of additional steps and goals, read them here.

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