Postgraduate Podcasting: An innovative approach to assessment

Lynne Powell, Fiona Robson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review

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This paper explores the use of podcasting as an innovative assessment method for a taught postgraduate module. This includes a discussion around the challenges of introducing a technology-based assessment, results from primary research undertaken with the students and reflections from the teaching team. In 2009 a new approach to assessment required the students to create and record a podcast and then produce a reflective report. These assessment methods address the criteria for 'innovative assessment' proffered by Mowl (1996:5) by aiming to produce students who are: - Highly motivated and committed - Enterprising - Equipped with a range of transferable skills - Capable of self-criticism and evaluation - Active and reactive participants in the learning process From the learning and teaching perspective we know Generation Y students expect us to use the latest technology within teaching and learning and Frand (2000) argues that students have an 'information age mindset'. Developing the skills to research, script and deliver a podcast provides an 'added-value' activity and addresses feedback from students about their concerns about too many assessed presentations and the associated 'death by PowerPoint'. Gribbins (2007:1) suggests that an advantage of podcasts is "the ability to add clarity and meaning, motivation, emotion...". However secondary research suggests that podcasts are mainly used to deliver information to students in lieu of lectures (Murphy, 2008). Whilst this can be useful, it is one-way communication. A contemporary development with similar limitations is academics' use of podcasts to deliver their feedback to students (e.g. the work of Ribchester et al., 2008). The lack of evidence on students designing and recording their own podcasts (and subsequent evaluations) provides a potentially useful opportunity for this study. Primary research was collected in the form of an online questionnaire completed by students and content analysis of students' individual reflective statements that were also part of the summative assessment. Feedback was also provided by the teaching team and technical support assistant. The results demonstrate the perceived benefits of this method of assessment and the transferable skills developed by students (for both current and future roles). The conclusions also provide a series of recommendations for educators who wish to consider the use of podcasts as an innovative form of assessment in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2010
EventNorthumbria Conference 2010 - Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Duration: 9 Sept 2010 → …


ConferenceNorthumbria Conference 2010
Period9/09/10 → …
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