Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating
Podcasts, which can include audio, video, PDF and ePub files can be subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. Educational podcasts can be used for those who want to learn through audio lectures, discussion, and interviews.
The Podcast Assignment is done in groups, and is devoted to exploring the portrayal of key concepts in the news media and linking concepts to course material. Students are required to get approval for their topic in advance of commencing the research and recording. Within the first 10 seconds of the podcast, each student in the group is expected to state their name. Introductions should be followed by the title or concept that they will discuss. The remaining time is spent discussing the fundamental concepts, including those covered during lectures. Group members should divide their effort accordingly – be it writing, speaking or production roles. Students are encouraged to interview other experts on the topic, and other content to bring into the podcast. Podcasts are to be about 4-5 minutes long, but can be flexible depending on group size and assignment expectations.
Each of the following criteria is graded between 0 (poorly done) to 5 (excellent) for a total out of 25 points.
- Format & Quality (length of podcast, sound quality, all group members given equal time)
- Broad coverage of course concepts (introduction and explanation of broader topic, overview of portrayal in news media
- Link to fundamental concepts (links to lecture content, links to other course materials)
- Synthesis, integration (all parts of podcast linked together, evidence of deeper critical thinking about the topic, opinions presented and discussed)
- Creativity (effort to make podcast interesting, fun, entertaining, evidence of creative thinking)
To create: Garage Band, Windows Voice Recorder, Audacity, Soundtrap, YouTube
To stream/host: PodBean, Kaltura, SoundCloud, Youtube
To submit: Learning Management System, Email
- Podcasts are an effective form of group work.
- In some cases, groups could not find some time to work together, so individuals were able to record sections separately and merge them together after the fact
- Students had no complaints or technical issues. They were all able to access software and hardware for this assignment, and uploading assignments to the learning management system was smooth
- Ideal as a student assessment tool, especially when class sizes make written assignments unmanageable
- Enjoyable to grade
- Allows students to exhibit creative talents that they otherwise would not get to explore in the ecology class
- Podcasts were effective at assessing how students were engaged with the course content
- Explaining ecological concepts is difficult and requires a deep and intimate knowledge of the content. “Teaching” in the form of a podcast, is an excellent way to learn
- Be sure to refer to the criteria in the rubric by which the podcast will be assessed
- When finished, upload the podcast to the learning management system (assignment drop box)
- The podcast must include the following: an introduction, some background music in the podcast somewhere, at least two people speaking (to increase auditory interest), a conclusion
McGill University. Professor Chris Buddle. ENVB 305 Population & Community Ecology
Environmental Biology: Interactions between organisms and their environment; historical and current perspectives in applied and theoretical population and community ecology. Principles of population dynamics, feedback loops, and population regulation. Development and structure of communities; competition, predation, and food web dynamics. Biodiversity science in theory and practice. The “Ecology Podcast’ was an assignment in this course and was aimed at exploring the portrayal of ecological concepts in the news media and linking concepts to fundamental ecological concepts, including those discussed during lectures.
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