How to use podcast as a teaching tool: Part I

This post is about podcast as a platform and about how you can apply this platform to your teaching practice. While I will write from the perspective of a lecturer in a traditional University setting, I do believe that at least some of what I am going to say will be usable in other contexts and roles

If you spend enough time in a lecture theatre or a seminar room of a large University, a couple of things are likely to become fairly obvious. One is that neither the students nor their tutors, despite being present, really have to engage with anything that’s going on and, Two, that the lecture theatre or seminar room where the class takes place can be a really awkward environment to learn in. In my experience, these two hold true regardless of whether you are a student or a teacher, and seem especially befitting in the case of Bachelor’s degree candidates. I am certain we’ve all been there at least once – tutors reading from slides to an audience who’d rather be anywhere else (or a combination of either one).

Image credits: Ruta N Medellin / CC BY 2.0

Of course, the exact opposite holds true as well – super engaging classes with super-star teachers (two of whom we’ll have as guests for Episode 17!) who entertain, teach and mesmerize their students all at the same time. I am not one of these people, but neither am I someone who puts the class to sleep. Having worked with one of the aforementioned paragons of teaching practice I have jumped around the class playing games and doing plays with students, but found it to just not be my cup of tea – not least because I believe that the most rewarding and inclusive learning comes from the more or less autonomous solving of problems. Breaking paradigms on stage while adapting Shakespeare for management is great (it really is!), but there are other ways to unlock creativity and channel it towards learning outcomes too. I suspect that I am not alone in my disposition towards teaching so, for those of us who genuinely care about developing their students but do not want to put on a charade that is a forced “creative education” (i.e. if it does not come naturally – just don’t do it), technology is here to help!

And what a great help it can be! The Internet is an ultimate one-on-one form of communication – it is there just for you and you alone, and it will do (mostly) what you will ask of it. Podcasts are a manifestation of that as they are on-demand, always available anywhere, free and very pleasing to the ego (you basically have people tell you stories that you want to hear whenever and wherever – much like in the case with children). Apparently, learning via a podcast is called m-learning (m for mobile). M-learning is a form of E-learning, but only in a sense that it is through E that M is made possible. According to Saylor (2012), m-learning significantly boosts exam performance and cuts drop-out rates dramatically. In all honesty this seems about right, but for my money, the best aspect of m-learning is that it is easy and does not ask the learner to compromise their time – podcasts can be consumed while doing a myriad of other activities. My favourite time to consume podcasts is while driving, for example. So, to summarize, podcasts are great!

Saylor, M. (2012). The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. Perseus Books/Vanguard Press.


In the nest post, Dmitrijs will share some practical advice on incorporating podcasts into teaching. Stay tuned! 🙂

Dmitrijs Kravcenko is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Warwick Business School, IKON Research Centre. His research interests revolve around innovation, organisational knowledge and collective memory. Dmitrijs can be found hosting his critically acclaimed Talking About Organizations Podcast or on Twitter and Instagram

This article was originally published on the blog of Talking About Organizations – a conversational podcast about key topics in management and organisation studies.

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