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Podcast Lectures as a Primary Teaching Technology: Results of a One-Year Trial

Journal of Political Science Education Volume 5, Number 2, ISSN 1551-2169


How useful are podcasts in the political science classroom? Some educators argue that podcasts will revolutionize education; others are less convinced. However, to date, the evidence on podcasts has been slim. This article reports the results of a year-long trial using podcasts to aid in teaching political science to undergraduates at a research university. This trial does not test hypotheses but constitutes an exploratory probe that tells us more about how students and educators use, and react to, podcast lectures. The results suggest that podcasts are not likely a revolutionary teaching technology but can nonetheless have useful roles in the college classroom. Students liked the control, but few took advantage of the podcasts' portability, and most preferred to listen to them while reading lecture notes. No evidence was found for a relationship between student performance and their opinion of, or technique for using, the podcasts. For the professor, podcast lectures appeared to create time both in and out of class for more productive pursuits. Other findings, based on quantitative and qualitative survey data, generate some initial correlations and highlight anomalies for future pedagogy research. (Contains 5 figures, 7 tables and 7 notes.)


Taylor, M.Z. (2009). Podcast Lectures as a Primary Teaching Technology: Results of a One-Year Trial. Journal of Political Science Education, 5(2), 119-137. Retrieved June 7, 2020 from .

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