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Inside Education and Health Sciences

Listen up! Reimagining a class assignment as a podcast episode

By Emily Clemenson

There's something so intimate about podcasts. Maybe it is the ability to consume the content while multitasking: doing dishes, walking across campus or driving home for a long weekend. Maybe it's the wide range of available topics. Whatever the reason, podcasting seems to be here to stay.

Statista reports that an estimated 100 million people will listen to podcasts in 2024. And as our current students complete their degrees and head out into the working world, knowing the basics of this emerging medium could be beneficial in their professional careers.

University of Dayton sport management professor Dr. Corinne Daprano worked with Paul Dagnall in the Center for Online Learning to create a podcast assignment for her Safety & the Law in Sport, Fitness, & Exercise class. The purpose of the assignment is to demonstrate understanding of a sports litigation case that has recently made the headlines. 

By using podcasting as the medium, the students have the opportunity to experiment with a format that is new to many of them and to allow for additional creativity and authentic discussion in a way that a standard paper or oral presentation does not. 

One of the groups chose to discuss Title XI for their podcast episode. Group members Minna Burkhardt, Katie Edwards, Gaby Sauer, and Haley Brucker all said the experience was new to them, but also a lot of fun.

"I found that sharing information this way was not only educational but very entertaining," Burkhardt said. "We got to put our own personality into the podcast while delivering important information about Title IX and how it is still being violated today."

Katie Edwards also had a very positive experience.

"I was nervous going into it, but I ended up really enjoying the podcast room," Edwards said. "We had some fun banter in between topics and really enjoyed listening to ourselves on the headsets. And the library staff made it easy for us to get in and get out."

Dagnall is the associate director of Online Programs & Instructional Design. He has helped a small number of faculty develop student podcast projects, and his main goal is to encourage faculty to create their own podcasts as instructional material. 

"There's great potential in doing this and I see it as a forward-thinking approach that isn't being used much yet," Dagnall said.

He also thinks there is a benefit to the students when an assignment is reimagined to be a podcast. Students gain experience using a new medium, and the approach to research and preparation is different.

"It often leads to more enthusiasm and attentiveness to the learning task," Dagnall said. "Additionally, they almost always exit the podcast studio with a smile on their face, so it must be at least a little enjoyable."

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