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Podcast Enhanced Learning In Environmental Engineering

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Curricula III

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1160.1 - 12.1160.13



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Paper Authors

author page

Kurt Paterson Michigan Technological University Orcid 16x16

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

Podcast-Enhanced Learning in Environmental Engineering

1. Background

In Fall 2005 one in six college students took at least one course online. That’s 850,000 more students than the year before, an increase of 40%.1 This rapid growth is being facilitated by easier to use computer-based learning content creation tools, and a growing comfort of using information appliances.

Podcasting, a technology that lets anyone create and distribute radio- or TV-like shows over the Internet, is growing at an exponential rate. Current estimates suggest there are nearly 20 million podcasts, up from about 3 million just five months ago, and only 200 two years ago.2 While the technology offers exciting educational possibilities, university faculty are still ruminating about its use in learning.

This paper introduces the integration of enhanced-podcast episodes into a traditional Introduction to Environmental Engineering class. The objectives of this Podcast- Enhanced Learning (PEL) research were to provide:

• guidance for the creation of such podcasts • pedagogical evidence supporting best use of such podcasts within a university course setting, and • student assessment of such efforts.

2. Podcast Design

The enhanced-podcast creation process is a multi-step workflow. Major steps include media design, sound, video, and post-production. Free software tools were used in the production of twelve podcast episodes. Podcast design guidance and typical workflow resource requirements evolved during development of the early podcast episodes. Figure 1 shows the workflow developed for the enhanced podcast episodes for the Introduction to Environmental Engineering course. There were six major steps in the workflow, resulting in an 8 hour/episode average development time (above and beyond content creation). The entire workflow was executed with a production team of one person.

Step 1: Slides Despite the new delivery techniques that podcasting allows, content creation is still the most critical step; yet, podcasting places unique constraints on the content. Notably, in this project, the self-imposed podcast display constraint was a student watching an episode on a video iPod. As such, considerable design effort was required for the slides (in this case Keynote was used, but Powerpoint would be similarly constrained). Some important design findings include:

Paterson, K. (2007, June), Podcast Enhanced Learning In Environmental Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2047

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