The word podcast comes from ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’, but now generally means any digital audio file, which is available to download from the internet. Podcasts are often offered by broadcasters as part of a series of downloads, but can be created by students using university software or their mobile phone as an alternative presentation of material.
Students can be asked to research a topic in groups and then create a podcast to present their findings, either in the form of a presentation, discussion or debate. This type of assessment allows students to develop a range of transferable skills such as project design and management, team work, oral presentation and technology skills, all of which are valued by employers.
Visuals can also be added to podcasts to illustrate the presentation.
Preparation time Student workload Marking time
Literacies and skills exhibited
One and two-way communication; communication within a group
Working independently and working within a group
Writing for and presenting to different audiences
Creating and performing
Researching, investigating, interpreting and organising information
- Write, script and produce audio or video
- Demonstration (of media, or an approach; with accompanying commentary)
- Poster presentation
The intended purpose of, and audience for, a podcast will dictate the marking criteria. Marks might be awarded for pitching at the right level, structure of the narrative, incorporation of research or data. As always, a clear criteria will help guide both students and markers.
Feedback via a rubric can be easy for students to understand and detect areas for improvement, accompanied with suggestions for improving those areas going forward. Depending on the method of submission, it is possible to add text or audio comments in-context with the podcast, to relate feedback to particular points in the narrative.
Guide to time involved in preparation, marking, and student workload: Low Medium High