A review of podcasting in higher education: Its influence on the traditional lecture

Oliver McGarr


This paper examines the possible influence of podcasting on the traditional lecture in higher education. Firstly, it explores some of the benefits and limitations of the lecture as one of the dominant forms of teaching in higher education. The review then moves to explore the emergence of podcasting in education and the purpose of its use, before examining recent relevant literature about podcasting for supporting, enhancing, and indeed replacing the traditional lecture. The review identifies three broad types of use of podcasting: substitutional, supplementary and creative use. Podcasting appears to be most commonly used to provide recordings of past lectures to students for the purposes of review and revision (substitutional use). The second most common use was in providing additional material, often in the form of study guides and summary notes, to broaden and deepen students' understanding (supplementary use). The third and least common use reported in the literature involved the creation of student generated podcasts (creative use). The review examines three key questions: What are the educational uses of podcasting in teaching and learning in higher education? Can podcasting facilitate more flexible and mobile learning? In what ways will podcasting influence the traditional lecture? These questions are discussed in the final section of the paper, with reference to future policies and practices.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1136