Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Podcasts vs. Classroom Lectures

This month’s edition of eSchool News has an interesting article about a study entitled “iTunes University and the Classroom: Can Podcasts Replace Professors?” The study was conducted at the State University of New York Fredonia and compared the performance of college students who attended a lecture in person to those who viewed the lecture via a podcast from iTunes. The students participating in the study were competing for an iTunes gift card so the actual scores were not as high as they might have been if they were graded however, the study found that students who watched the podcast scored an average of 71% while those who attended the classroom lecture scored an average of 62%. The largest factor affecting these scores was note taking and students that took notes while watching the podcasts scored an average of 15 points higher than the students in the classroom lecture. Researchers for the study explained that note taking is a key factor in both learning environments and students that do not pay attention during podcasts will be just as unprepared as if they did not focus in the classroom. However, podcasts do give students an advantage because they can pause and rewind the lecture to capture more notes than they could in a classroom. The study also found that combining the two learning methods may be the most beneficial option with more than 90 percent of students saying that they would prefer “traditional lectures with computer-based learning as a supplement for revising” their notes.

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