In spring 2007, Dr. Sharon Rouse and I collaborated with the Learning Enhancement Center at USM to launch a podcasting initiative for improving student learning opportunities through the use of podcasting technology. Faculty members were invited to submit proposals detailing their ideas and plans to use podcasting in teaching and learning at USM. The project involves USM’s faculty to: 1) deliver alternative course content to students that would enhance their engagement with content and audio/video, 2) offer a richer learning environment, and 3) increase students’ podcasting use on campus. However, the ultimate goal of the project is to test podcasting technology with pilot faculty before campus wide implementation.
To help implement the project, each participating faculty member was awarded an iPod, a Belkin Recorder, as well as a MacBook to use in the pilot project. To assist faculty participates in developing podcast, they were required to attend several training sessions and roundtable discussions during the summer 2007 to prepare them to integrate podcasting in their classrooms.
The pilot project involved training on several podcasting software tools, provided understanding of how podcasting reinforces student learning, encouraged innovative thinking in roundtable discussions, offered brown bag seminars and promoted sharing podcasts project experiences. These training sessions included such topics as subscribing to podcasting, using Wimba podcasting, working with Audacity, Apple iTunes, and many others. A listserv and a podcasting blog were established to further encourage discussion among the participants.
Currently, the pilot participants are developing podcasts for their courses. Several of them have already integrated podcasts into their teaching this semester. It is expected all pilot faculty will integrate podcasting in their classrooms in Spring 2008. A student survey will be conducted next week to collect students’ feedback regarding their experience of using podcasting as a learning tool at USM.
To learn more about the Podcasting Pilot Project at Southern Miss, please visit the Web site at: http://www.usm.edu/lec/podcasting/index.html