Asee peer logo

Creators, Participants, And Observers: Clickers, Blogs, And Podcasting Offer Students More Than Just A Seat In The Classroom

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.386.1 - 14.386.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Kathy Schmidt University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

KATHY J. SCHMIDT is the Director of the Faculty Innovation Center for the Cockrell School of
Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. In this position, she promotes the School's commitment to finding ways to enrich teaching and learning. She works in all
aspects of education including design and development, faculty training, learner support, and evaluation. Contact

visit author page


Juan Garcia University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

JUAN GARCIA is a Video Producer for the Faculty Innovation Center with specialties in new media, social networks and mobile content distribution. He has spoken about new media trends for various organizations, including Apple, the Dallas Video Festival, Leadership Austin, and the World E-Democracy Forum in Paris, France. Along with his work, Juan sits on the board of directors for several educational media arts organizations and frequently supports organizations in the development of youth-generated media programs.

visit author page


Michael Webber University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

MICHAEL WEBBER is the Associate Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy in the Jackson School of Geosciences, Fellow of the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he trains a new generation of energy leaders through research and education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Creators, Participants, and Observers: Podcasting, Blogs, and Clickers Offers Students More than Just a Seat in the Classroom

Abstract Today’s students are often passive receivers of media-based instructional materials and rarely have the opportunity to actively participate in their creation. One up-and-coming technology that is compatible with self-directed education is a podcast, which is an audio or video file distributed to an appropriate media player over the Internet. Our students in a multidisciplinary mechanical engineering class were able to go beyond being a consumer and instead became creators of podcasts and active participants through blogs and a classroom response system (clickers). With the use of new technologies and software tools, students were given the opportunity to create and post podcasts of their own research. Because the assignment was optional (students had a choice of writing a paper or creating a podcast on their original research) not all of the students created podcasts. Both types of completed projects (papers and podcasts) were uploaded to the class blog. In class students were actively involved by responding to instructor questions via clickers. In addition, both groups of students were given pre- and post-surveys to ascertain and compare pre-project expectations with post-project assessments of their time commitments, skills needed, level of enjoyment, and perceptions on their learning.

Introduction Educating and engaging today’s students who are fluid with the latest in technology often involves the use of technological teaching tools. Last spring when a new mechanical energy course was offered, the course was designed using instructional tools to not only distribute information but to actively involve students in the learning process. The technologies include i- clickers that consists of remote controls for each student and a receiver that records student answers to questions posed by the instructor; blogs (a contraction of the term Web log) contains student entries combining text, images, links, etc. or multimedia lectures enhanced with graphics and motion video; and podcasting which can be defined as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.” 1

In this course, the technology was used “beyond the lectures” in that students were actively developing blogs and if they selected to, they created a podcast. In higher education, most existing uses of podcasting result in the delivery of content for a lecture. Yet podcasting can go beyond delivery and engage students in the learning process.2 Our goal in this course was to enhance learning and to use technology as a means to do so. We studied not only the efficacy of these technologies, but whether or not students viewed these tools positively. Students responded to pre- and post-surveys that questioned their use and preference for these technologies. This paper will provide a discussion of the tools used, a comparison of these results, and will conclude with recommendations for integrating such technologies into your classes.

Proceedings of the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education

Schmidt, K., & Garcia, J., & Webber, M. (2009, June), Creators, Participants, And Observers: Clickers, Blogs, And Podcasting Offer Students More Than Just A Seat In The Classroom Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4602

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015