Video Podcasts in Education

Kay, R. (2012) Exploring the use of video podcasts in education: A comprehensive review of the literature. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 820-831.

This article was constructed as a comprehensive review of research on video podcasts over the past decade to guide educational practice as well as provide a path for future studies. Robin Kay quickly recaps the history and growth of video podcasts in education, types of podcast categories, ties to previous literature/research reviews, discusses the benefits and challenges of using podcasts, and the methodological concerns. The author also highlights purposes for podcasts such as for viewing an entire lecture in a substitutional fashion instead of or after a face-to-face meeting, viewing podcasts that have been segmented or chunked to support classroom instruction, and viewing podcasts to practice targeted skills or specific problems. One pedagogical concern raised in the article related to the relatively passive manner in which most video podcasts are viewed.

With flipped learning gaining steadfast momentum in the educational community, Kay’s literature review serves as a great first read by a novice researcher in need of baseline knowledge of video podcasts for educational use. Data collected through student surveys in the research evaluated pointed to some key reasons for using video podcasts in education including preparing for class, taking better notes, improving learning, using as a self-check for understanding the content, for missing a lecture, etc. Additionally, the literature examination calls attention to the student attitudes toward video podcasts as predominately positive, enjoyable and motivating. As with any examination of studies, attention must be given to methodological concerns as well as pedagogical shortfalls. Those highlighted concerns help researchers unify, improve and extend the quality of future research in this area.

This article has significant impact in my district. There are many teachers realizing the benefits of flipping lessons such as seeding concepts before being taught, segmenting or chunking learning with short videos for tough concepts, and students using videos as test prep. These same teachers are also reframing how they teach to support flipped learning. The teachers now realize that they no longer need to stand and deliver that instruction, but instead utilize a workshop model approach to address the individual needs of each learner or small group of learners. The students seem to enjoy being in control of their learning, like knowing about the content in advance of the class as well as having video podcasts available to study before a test. Additionally, my district has spent the last three years preparing the technology infrastructure by reshaping and increasing district broadband services, installing more robust wireless, offering video repository locations and student BYOD. I do agree with the passiveness component that video podcasts can have, but recognize that there are web tools to leverage student interactivity, video segmenting and other unique ways to get the learner actively involved, i.e., Blendspace, personalized playlists, LessonPaths, ThingLink, Nearpod, Pear Deck, etc.