Tag Archives: podcast

Mainly leave – Weeknote #145 – 10th December 2021

Most of this week I was on leave, returning to the office on Thursday. The Government announced plan B on Wednesday, they asked for people to work from home from Monday. So on Thursday I decided to work from home instead.

I had a fair few meetings on that day, quite exhausting really.


Planning to reboot the elearning stuff podcast in 2022. This will be a weekly podcast on learning, learning technologies, digital leadership, and probably some other stuff I am interested in like the intelligent campus. Will be looking for panellists and experts. The last episode I did was back in 2018, and it was way back in 2013 when I was publishing the podcast regularly.

I have spent some time this week discussing thought leadership, though it is a term I don’t like, the concept of articles and blog posts that inspire transformation is very much part of Jisc’s strategy. For me a coherent and planned approach that engages with our target audience is key, but easier said than done.

I also see having a spectrum of content, media and channels. You will notice that I publish blog posts on this blog (as well as the weeknotes like this one). I see those as part of the spectrum. Recently I published Looking through that digital lens which is based on a session from the digital leaders programme, the strategic work I have done with universities and working with Advance HE on a leadership session back in the summer.

Another post was this one on transformation.

Success in digital teaching and learning is much about understanding about what is required for transformation to take advantage of the affordances and opportunities that digital can offer and not about taking what works in-person and making digital copies of existing practices.

This for me is part of what thought leadership is.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Podcast lectures “better” than real lectures

In recent weeks I have written about lectures following Donald Clark’s keynote on the end of the lecture at ALT-C 2010.

As well as reflecting on Donald’s keynote I also posted the video Dave White’s invited talk where he talks about eventedness.

However if the results of a slightly unconvincing study are to be believed then giving students a recording of the lecture would be better for the learners than them attending live!

The New Scientist reports on the study that was undertaken at State University of New York in Fredonia.

New psychological research suggests that university students who download a podcast lecture achieve substantially higher exam results than those who attend the lecture in person.

Why do I say unconvincing?

To find out how much students really can learn from podcast lectures alone – mimicking a missed class – McKinney’s team presented 64 students with a single lecture on visual perception, from an introductory psychology course.

This is a very small sample set and only covers one subject.

Now before we completely dismiss this study, there was also a recent article of interest in The Telegraph about Flip-thinking.

The article implies that education hasn’t changed much over the last hundred years…

Since it’s 2010, many of these students will see smartboards instead of chalkboards and they’ll turn in their assignments online rather than on paper. But the rhythm of their actual days will be much the same as when their parents and grandparents sat in those same uncomfortable seats back in the 20th century.

During class time, the teacher will stand at the front of the room and hold forth on the day’s topic. Then, as the period ends, he or she will give students a clutch of work to do at home. Lectures in the day, homework at night. It was ever thus and ever shall be.

However the article then goes onto describe the work of Karl Fisch

…instead of lecturing about polynomials and exponents during class time – and then giving his young charges 30 problems to work on at home – Fisch has flipped the sequence. He’s recorded his lectures on video and uploaded them to YouTube for his 28 students to watch at home. Then, in class, he works with students as they solve problems and experiment with the concepts.

Now though that article talks about flipping publishing and movies, there is a connection between the two articles on the students watching and listening to stuff and then using lesson time to ask questions, undertake exercises and do more practical things.

I don’t know about you, but there is a kind of logic there, isn’t there?

Some I know will say that learners won’t be motivated to watch or listen to the videos and podcasts. But are they going to be any more motivated to undertake questions and assessments for which they may not understand the underpinning theory.

Also it is a lot more difficult to get someone else to do your “homework” if the “homework” is done in college rather than outside.

You could also use additional materials and resources to extend the topic for those learners that need it.

The more I think about this, the more I think it has potential.

What do you think?