I hate podcasts

Doug pointed me to this discussion on wiki textbooks (MP3, 29MB). They are talking about interesting stuff, but it’s an hour long! In that hour, the three presenters could easily have created, edited and refined a really good wiki page that would have done the same page at least as well. I could have read that in five minutes, and learned as much.

But that’s teachers podcasting to teachers. The really rad thing these days is to get your students to produce them.

This is a fun and interesting experiment for the kids and I thoroughly applaud it. But…think about the implications of letting this be more than an occasional novelty. How are you going to assess such work? Whatever novel assessment methods you come up with, the bottom line is that you have to listen to all those podcasts. Yep, thirty students times one hour each.

And you thought marking essays was a pain!



You are missing a massive trick here. You don’t listen to the podcasts at
all. Before the activity you get the students to develop their own marking
criteria. They then create the podcasts. You then get students to
self-assess (mark their own) and then peer-assess (mark each other’s)
podcasts and produce an evaluation. Thus the students listen to each
other’s podcasts and mark them.

You can then have a class discussion where the students share their views
about each others work – perhaps sharing the highlight and the lowlights.

Constructed carefully, podcasting ends up with less marking, not more. The
main problem comes when you first do it though – it is so amazing that you
want to listen to them all, not that you have to for assessment purposes.

Andrew Field


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4 responses to “I hate podcasts”

  1. Horses for courses, Ian. If you have to drive, say half an hour, to and from work every day then that time can be spent actually doing something that is professionally worthwhile. I usually hate the school run because it’s such an unproductive and montonous time. Listening to podcasts, however, really livens up the journey and I now look forward to it.

    Could I read the content in less time than it takes to listen to it? Of course. Does it mean that it’s a waste of time? Far from it.

  2. You’ve missed the point again. Podcasting is Fun. Fun helps learning. Need i say more?

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