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Instructional Podcasting
Podcasting Documentation

It is very important that Nova’s podcasting program be well documented so that the program can continue to grow and improve. It is sometimes difficult to see what is working, because we are just too excited to be using a new technology. It is what I call the new toy effect.

There is one form of documentation all teachers can participate in is adding podcasts to the podcast bank on the school server. Having podcasts on the server not only shows how many podcasts are being made, but also it strengthens the whole program. More teachers can make use of podcasts before they can make their own.

Just like any good experiment, Nova’s podcasting program needs testing. Assessments for the effectiveness of podcasting have not been conclusive. The benefits of educational podcasting seams obvious, but measuring them is not so easy. Each podcasting teacher should find the their best way to document podcasting effectiveness.

One method is the two-class comparison. As the name suggests this involves at least two classes. One class is using podcasts while another class is covering the same material without podcasts. Both classes need to take identical quizzes after instruction. One class takes the quiz after podcast instruction either with iPod homework, or displayed in the classroom. The other class takes the same quiz after the same material is taught traditionally. The second class should learn this material in the same manner as the podcasting class; that is to say if one class takes iPods home for homework then the other class should also have the martial in some other form of homework. This method of testing uses different sets of students so there are many variables to eliminate. Conclusions can only be drawn after many classes have repeatedly participated in quizzes.

Another method of testing can be done that involves one class. In this test half of a class is given podcasts on iPods for home instruction. The other half of the class takes the same information home in text form, like a PowerPoint note printout. After the home instruction all the students take an identical quiz. This experiment eliminates more variables that effect results, but the testing still needs to be done repeatedly with different podcasts and different groups of students in the class before conclusions can be found.

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