eLearning Week (eLW) posed two big questions to all lecturers involved in the exercise: how to delivery lectures and how to conduct tutorials? While most of her colleagues chose to use Breeze to deliver their lectures, Ms Mary Lee, an Instructor at the Communications & New Media Programme, opted for a less conventional method – an audio podcast.
“I think it’s an expedient way of delivering a lecture, as well as my desire to explore the audio medium” Mary explained, “It’s quite creative. I actually had in mind executing a radio talk show format. I thought a podcast was a great opportunity.”
Other reasons included her colleagues’ difficulties with Breeze and Centra – the more oft used methods of delivering lectures during eLW as well as her fear of technical glitches.
With the format decided, Mary proceeded to flesh out the podcast. She would be covering press releases and news conferences in the podcast lecture for NM3219 Writing for Communication Management.
“I was thinking, ‘What are the resources on campus that I can use? Who can be my sparring partner, my talk show host?’ And I looked around and I thought, ‘Hey, there’s Radio Pulze!’ They may be students but they are students who are very serious about wanting to do radio broadcasting as a career. I thought maybe I could sound them out about my proposal and maybe they’d be keen to take this on. You know, it’s something different and yet educational. True enough, they were very enthusiastic!” Mary shared.
With students from Radio Pulze on board, she set out to script the programme, as she wanted to make sure that the podcast covered her learning points and objectives.
“I enjoyed the process a lot more,” she said of writing the script, “I did not have to do PowerPoint! I think better in Word, because PowerPoint is linear and Word, I can just move [things] around. It was like writing an essay first and then polishing it so that it’s more of a spoken thing, a conversational thing – a dialogue.”
Karthik Srinivasan, a 3rd year Engineering student from Radio Pulze, was Mary’s co-host for the podcast. After an initial meeting, they recorded the podcast in about two hours at CIT’s studio. Melvyck Leong, another student from Radio Pulze, helped with the post-production, working throughout a weekend to polish the podcast.
CIT staff Lilian Lim then helped to publish the podcast and the transcript in IVLE. She helped to coordinate the production, planning the timeline, handling logistics and coordinating with the students from Radio Pulze. Through Lilian’s efforts, the podcast was delivered before the deadline.
Mary exclaims, “She made everything plain sailing for me! Lilian worked out the production schedule and included buffer time, if it wasn’t perfect and I wanted to re-record. She made sure things ran properly.”
Students from NM3219 seem to have taken the podcast lecture in their stride, with no complaints about the lecture. On Mary’s part, she found the whole experience enjoyable – from conceptualizing and writing the script to recording the podcast with the enthusiastic Radio Pulze students.