New Project Explores Higher-Education Podcasts (And Their Impact)

Digital Learning

New Project Explores Higher-Education Podcasts (And Their Impact)

By Jeffrey R. Young     Aug 24, 2017

New Project Explores Higher-Education Podcasts (And Their Impact)

These days busy college leaders hone their craft while walking the dog or commuting to campus (with earbuds in), thanks to the recent explosion of podcasts about higher education. But it’s hard to tell exactly how many higher-ed podcasts are out there and what difference they’re making.

Laura Pasquini, a lecturer at the University of North Texas and longtime education podcaster, hopes to tackle those questions with a new effort she’s leading called The Higher Ed Podcast Project.

A key part of the effort is a shared Google spreadsheet where she’s asking college leaders to add higher-ed podcasts they listen to. So far the list includes more than 70 podcasts (including EdSurge’s). The goal is to focus on podcasts intended to offer professional development, information or interviews about college, so it doesn’t include things like audio feeds of class lectures.

She’s also interviewing podcasters and podcast listeners to find out more about who is creating these audio productions and what people are doing with the information they glean from them.

It’s an offshoot of another project Pasquini is working on, the Networked Communities of Practice Research Project. That involves interviews with higher education professionals about what online resources they use, and she says many participants mentioned listening to or producing podcasts.

Pasquini sees these podcasts as an emerging Open Education Resource, and she believes they offer something different than blogs or other online publishing formats. “Podcasts for me have an old time radio feeling—you hear someone narrating or storytelling,” she says. “You get to know the podcasters. It’s not just about the content.”

Pasquini’s main podcast project these days is BreakDrink, which she co-hosts with Jeff Jackson, of the University of Texas at San Antonio School of Medicine.

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