On Campus

Abstracted: Can podcasts replace professors?

Students learning via podcast scored "significantly higher" on exam than those in the classroom

An article in the current issue of the journal Computers & Education reports on the results of a study designed to investigate how podcasted university lectures affect student achievement. Here is the abstract of the article which is titled iTunes University and the Classroom: Can Podcasts Replace Professors?:

iTunes University, a website with downloadable educational podcasts, can provide students the opportunity to obtain professors’ lectures when students are unable to attend class. To determine the effectiveness of audio lectures in higher education, undergraduate general psychology students participated in one of two conditions. In the lecture condition, participants listened to a 25-min lecture given in person by a professor using PowerPoint slides. Copies of the slides were given to aid note-taking. In the podcast condition, participants received a podcast of the same lecture along with the PowerPoint handouts. Participants in both conditions were instructed to keep a running log of study time and activities used in preparing for an exam. One week from the initial session students returned to take an exam on lecture content. Results indicated that students in the podcast condition who took notes while listening to the podcast scored significantly higher than the lecture condition. The impact of mobile learning on classroom performance is discussed.

Reference: McKinney, D., Dycka, J. L., & Lubera, E. S. (2009). iTunes University and the classroom: Can podcasts replace professors? Computers & Education, 52(3), 617-623.

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