Professor Ken Kristl offers students in his Property I course the opportunity to download podcasts that offer a summary of important legal principals covered in class. On Tuesday January 22nd, as part of ongoing Faculty Development efforts, he gave a presentation to several faculty members on the benefits of podcasting.
Professor Kristl covered several different methods of structuring the podcasts, including; a recording of an entire class, class-by-class summaries, weekly summaries, or topic summaries. After starting with weekly summaries, Professor Kristl eventually decided to do his podcasts as topic-specific because it allowed students to find what they wanted to listen to more easily. The presentation described the four specific benefits of podcasts as the ‘Power of Immediacy’, the ‘Power of Repetition’, the ‘Power of Scripting What You Want to Say’, and the ‘Power of Saying It How You Want to Say It’. Podcast summaries of key concepts allow students to refresh the material in their minds while the repetition of difficult topics can make those topics easier to grasp. Finally, by planning and scripting a podcast, a professor can ensure that the message is delivered as clearly and concisely as possible.
According to surveys that Professor Kristl collected from willing students in classes where he offered the podcasts, 77% of the respondents listened to one or more of the podcasts, and 100% of those who responded that they had listened to at least one podcast indicated that they intended to continue doing it. Professor Kristl emphasized multiple times that podcasts should be viewed as supplemental to classroom work and not a replacement for it. He also covered some of the basic technical issues about recording and posting podcasts for download, including both self-generation methods and the Classcaster service available from CALI. Professor Kristl encouraged other professors to try podcasting out, noting, “Students will appreciate it!”