Hill, J. L. and Nelson, A.
New technology, new pedagogy? Employing video podcasts in learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems.
Environmental Education Research, 17 (3).
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2010.545873
This article examines the experiences of undergraduate university students in response to the employment of video podcasts to support learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems. Six 15-20 minute podcasts were made accessible to students through a virtual learning environment, either on-line or to download to mobile technology. The students were free to watch the podcasts whenever and wherever they chose to. The perceived and actual effectiveness of the technology was assessed by written questionnaire, focus groups and summative assessment results. Students agreed that the podcasts were effective in supporting learning and teaching on the course, largely by offering a flexible and visual learning experience. The podcasts were also perceived as a useful resource for revision and assessment, providing visual images that stimulated factual recall and highlighted knowledge gaps. There were no significant differences, however, in examination essay grades comparing cohorts prior to and post adoption of podcasts. The key to improving the student learning experience appears to lie not in adopting new pedagogy, but in reflexively developing the existing pedagogic strategies employed by both teachers and learners. Of primary importance is uniting the individual learning experience of podcasts with group exploration and critical discussion in a collaborative learning framework.
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