Podcasting to Provide Teaching and Learning Support For An Undergraduate Module on English Language and Communication

Chiara RIZZI
Ming NIE

This paper reports findings from research into the benefits of integrating podcasts into a first year undergraduate module on English Language and Communication at Kingston University. As part of a Faculty teaching and learning support scheme for first year undergraduates, six podcasts were developed to improve students’ learning and study skills and to provide advice on portfolio development and presentation skills. Student learning experience through podcasts was evaluated through two focus groups, personal interviews (six students) and an end of semester evaluation questionnaire (n=35). The paper describes the teaching and learning context and how the podcasts were integrated as part of the blended learning delivery. It discusses to what extent podcasts were able to achieve of the intended outcomes and the processes involved in achieving those outcomes. The findings led to development of a model for integrating podcasts in on-campus blended learning, and which can have potential applications in distance learning contexts. The model is based on three main features of podcasts identified as facilitating student learning: learner choice and flexibility offered by podcasts; tacit knowledge and experience of peers conveyed in discussions; and a sense of informality brought into formal learning.The research reported in the paper was carried out as part of a UK national research project entitled Informal Mobile Podcasting and Learning Adaptation (IMPALA) with funding from the UK Higher Education Academy.

KEYWORDS: Podcasting; Audio; Blended Learning; Distance Learning; English Language Teaching.