Monday, June 16, 2008

SSciPod - Schools Science Podcasts from Strathclyde

I'm doing some research on podcasts for learning, teaching and assessment with a colleague. We worked with a small number of Biology students who were nearing the end of their teaching course and asked them to record podcasts for use with their pupils. It seemed to go well and we are now looking through their evaluations of the process.

Since the students have finished their analysis, I think I can share their work more widely. My colleague and I came up with all sorts of duff names for the project but one of the students suggested SSciPod and that's the one that everyone liked. However, I'm not sure we have reached a definitive decision on whether that stands for Strathclyde Science Podcasts for Schools or Schools Science Podcasts from Strathclyde. We also wanted to work Jordanhill in there somewhere too, but did not always remember. I suspect we should have been more careful to establish a consistent brand. :-)

Whatever it's called, I found it a really interesting project. The students covered a range of topics and used a variety of methods of presentation. I'm very impressed with what the produced. Our intention is to do it again next session but probably with more students and probably starting earlier with the pupil podcasts.

Although the students have finished their evaluation, we are still interested in getting feedback, so feel free to visit the SSciPod blog and leave your comments/suggestions - especially if you are a pupil or a teacher who uses the podcasts with pupils.

Finally, there is a fair bit of published research on using podcasts in Higher Education but most of it focusses on lecturers producing podcasts for students to listen to. There seems to be little published research on students producing their own podcasts. Also, while there is some research on podcasts to aid learning and teaching, there is less on podcasts as a means of assessment. (Instead of delivering a presentation of their research, our students recorded a podcast. They listened to each others podcasts and left left comments and questions for each other online. We then assessed their podcast and their online interactions.) Therefore, if you know of any research, school or HE based, on learner produced podcasts or podcasts for assessment, I'd love to see it.

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