Podcasts – The Secret Weapon in Education

Podcasting is a fabulous means of sharing files in audio format through the internet. For example, an audio file retrieved from the internet in MP3 is known as a podcast. In an instant, a podcast has been retrieved from the internet, and the user can listen to it via a mobile phone, an iPod, a personal digital assistant, or any other media player, portable or not. In this blogpost, we will talk about this technology and its application to education. In doing that, I will make you familiar with the advantages and drawbacks.

1. What is a good podcast?

An effective podcast must present its idea in a single format that can be easily explained verbally. Also, it can be presented in a series with all events relating to one another. Additionally, they are usually created in an electronic form that can be easily played, and finally, they must be stored on a website that is easily accessible and updated frequently.

2. How are podcast applied in education?

There are many advantages of synchronous interactive, informative podcasting between learners and tutors. The podcast technology has intrigued educationists by the possibilities it holds. When educators use podcasts for online lessons, it helps distinguish learning and offers additional assistance to students who may have individual learning requirements. Podcasts can basically enable every student to be included and to become part and parcel of the learning community. Lecturers can use educational podcasting in the online classroom in two different ways. They can choose to deliver their lectures through short podcasts that are theme-based or individually customize feedback to students.

Firstly, a topic of a lecture could be delivered in a short format of about 3-5min, to provide an overview on an interesting topic in about 10-20 min. Longer formats are usually used for chat shows and conversational stuff. As a result, experienced instructors organize their lectures into themed or related topics because of their effectiveness and long-lasting memory.

Secondly, lecturers can promote students’ independence in a class by delivering customized feedback in short audio files. When good quality feedback is delivered to students, it helps them pursue lifelong learning. It also helps students internalize standards and respond actively to areas for personal improvement and therefore improve the standards of the evaluated work before submitting it. Effective feedback is crucial in education research. Therefore, the lecturer must realize that not all students will go through their written feedback.

Moreover, educators have been experiencing challenges preparing audio feedback for students because they consume more time than written feedback. The introduction of new built-in equipment in learning management systems has improved the time taken by a lecturer to make audio feedback to an average of 4 minutes in every assignment compared to written feedback, which takes an average of 14 minutes per student.  
According to research (Kaplan, Verma, & Sargsyan, 2020), college students have a higher tendency to ignore written feedback as compared to audio files. Therefore, a combination of both can be a win-win arrangement for both sides.

3. Finally: What do need to know about learner’s behaviour when starting podcasting?

Students have acknowledged in a recent study by Atlasen (2017) that when they can access the podcast on the go or from the comfort of their homes, it becomes easy for them to write notes by engaging with the content. Also, they are happy that they can rewind the podcast, retrieve information, point out knowledge gaps, and clarify concerns. Therefore, these prospects enable learners to take charge of their education by encouraging student independence. 

4. And this is a really rocking bouncer at the end: The Classic Management Murder Podcast Series

The Classic Management Murder Podcast Series (Arnold, 2021)

If you’re a fan of crime, mystery, science, and analysis, then you won’t want to miss the compelling podcast series, “The Classic Management Murder”. These short episodes are perfect snippets of educational and intriguing fun that will captivate their listeners and have you vying for more. With six acts altogether, this series goes into the mysterious murder of Frederick Taylor, and the investigation by researcher-turned-detective Lillian Moller Gilbreth. It begs the mean question of inquiry, regarding the „unfinished business“ that Taylor mentioned before his death. You will also be able to enjoy a lightweight lesson about the classical management schools featuring renowned engineers, researchers and theorists: Frederick W. Taylor, Henri Fayol, Frank and Lillian M Gilbreth, and Max Weber. While examining these figures and the fictional murder they were involved in, you can also expect this series to give a wonderful listening experience that you’ll want to enjoy again and again!

Happy podcasting and see you soon.


Arnold, M. (Host) (2021a, April 30). The Classical Management Murder Podcast Series [Audio podcast]. https://forms.gle/p75AXiVYDjoqgHzi6 [Podcast] and https://forms.gle/mKcM5onocJUZBDjC6 [Evaluation].

Atlason, R. S. (2017). Benefits of using podcasts as supplementary teaching
material. In J. B. Røn (Ed.), Proceedings of the ETALEE 2017 Conference
May 23–24 2017
(pp. 4–7). Odense: SDU.

Kaplan, H., Verma, D., & Sargsyan, Z. (2020). What traditional lectures can learn from podcasts. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 12(3), 250–253.

Close Menu

Dr. Maik Arnold is Professor for Non-Profit-Management and Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Transfer at University of Applied Science Dresden.