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Podcasts are most commonly audio files in MP3 format.

Here is a simple explanation of a podcast from JISC

What are enhanced podcasts and vodcasts?

More recent versions of iPod have a screen that allows the user to view and listen to ‘enhanced podcasts’. These are encoded audio files (m4a or m4b, m4p) that can have slideshows, URLS.

Vodcasts are video files in MP4 files rather than audio files. 

What formats does Unilearn’s Podcasting tool support?

The podcasting tool in Unilearn supports enhanced podcasting/vodcasts.

Using the Podcasting tool in Unilearn the tutor can upload a podcast (MP3 or MP4) and also additional teaching material such as word or powerpoint files (possibly limited to just 3 files). 

How do students listen/view podcasts?

Students can listen to the podcast whilst logged on to UniLearn by clicking on the listen button next to the uploaded podcast.

Alternatively, students can subscribe to the Course Podcasts using iTunes or any other Podcatcher (aggregator). This automatically sends the podcasts to their computer. Students can then listen to the podcast or download it to their MP3 player.

What hardware do students need?

Students can access podcasts directly from UniLearn. This will not require any additional hardware, an MP3 player is only necessary if students want to access the podcast whilst on the move.

What software do students need?

Podcasts accessed from UniLearn will open using the default media player on the student’s computer. This is likely to be Windows Media Player.

Students with MP3 players/iPods will need to use podcatcher software, such as iTunes (or Doppler or Juice).

How do students subscribe to podcasts?

Students need to:

  1. Go to the Course Tools area for the module.
  2. Click on the Podcast tool link.
  3. Select the +itunes or +RSS button.
  4. Then copy the link into their RSS aggregator (podcatcher).

How do I create an audio podcast?

You will need some audio recording software and a microphone. Audacity is a free software that is easy to use (Or alternative software such as Apple’s GarageBand)

How do I upload a podcast to Unilearn?

  1. Go the area that you want to upload a podcast (e.g. Course Documents).
  2. Click on Edit Mode.
  3. Use the drop down menu in the selected area in the top right hand side and navigate to "Campus pack Podcast feed". 
  4. Give the podcast a title and any other relevent information. 
  5. From the Control panel, select manage podcast. 
  6. Define the settings for the podcasts in the module so that they are either only available from Unilearn or available using an RSS feed.

Stages for creating an audio podcast

  1. Capture audio.
  2. Edit using audacity.
  3. Syndicate sound file.

Web Resources/Links

Guide to podcasting by JISC: (Intro video and text, and a downloadable pdf file)

Web 2.0 for Rookies - What is a podcast?

Clive Shepherd's  - consultant specialising in learning and communications technologies - three part guide to creating learning podcasts:

References to Scholarly Articles

Cooper, S. (2008). Delivering student feedback in higher education: the role of podcasting. Journal of Music, Technology and Education, 1(3), 153-165.

Cooper, S., Dale, C., & Spencer, S. (2009). A tutor in your back pocket: reflections on the use of iPods and podcasting in an undergraduate popular music programme. British Journal of Music Education, 26(1), 85.

Lee, M. J. W., McLoughlin, C., & Chan, A. (2008). Talk the talk: Learner-generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 501.

Lonn, S., & Teasley, S. D. (2009). Podcasting in higher education: What are the implications for teaching and learning? The Internet and Higher Education, 12(2), 88-92. 

Lonn, S., & Teasley, S. D. (2009). Podcasting in higher education: What are the implications for teaching and learning? The Internet and Higher Education, 12(2), 88-92. 

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