Podcasting and learning experiences: user-centred requirements gathering

Minocha, Shailey and Booth, Nigel Mark (2008). Podcasting and learning experiences: user-centred requirements gathering. In: MLearn08: The Bridge from Text to Context, 7-10 Oct 2008, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, UK.


In late-2007, at the Open University, UK, we launched a research initiative to investigate the role of podcasting in distance education. To ensure the success of the research initiative and uptake of the research outcomes, we followed a user-centred design approach which meant involving key stakeholders educators and students) in early requirements elicitation. As a part of this initiative, we conducted online surveys, e-mail questionnaires, a series of workshops and interviews to elicit students and educators’ perceptions of podcasts: how podcasts could support their learning and teaching. In this paper, we report the analysis of one of our requirements elicitation tools, the e-mail questionnaire which we sent around within the University in early 2008. The collated data pertains to students’ and educators’ perceptions on the following aspects: how course-related podcasts could improve the learning experience?; topics in the course(s) they are associated with and which would benefit from being presented as podcasts and say why you think these topics would be good choices; and (c) any potential drawbacks with introducing podcasts and do you have any thoughts on how these might be avoided?. These insights from our students and colleagues reported in this paper can help inform and guide the introduction and production of podcasts on courses in distance-education. This paper would be of interest to course designers, facilitators, staff developers and policy makers who are involved in integrating podcasts within the curriculum of their programmes and institutions.

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