Study: Students who use podcasts fare better on tests

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    Some hate the distraction iPods create in the classroom, but podcasts are quickly becoming a tool in the 21st-century classroom..

    According to business magazine FastCompany.com, psychologists studied students who listened to lectures on podcast versus lectures in class to see who performed better on a test.

    The study resulted in 72 students performing better after listening to the podcast, while 61 performed better after attending the in-class lecture.

    Jennifer Lockett, an adjunct lecturer in the department of sociology, criminal justice and anthropology, said she supports making podcasts resources for class material. Students in her class who take time to use the podcast material in addition to their other class materials greatly benefit, Lockett said.

    Lockett said she has put lectures on podcasts for two years and students seem to like them. Putting material on podcasts is easy and can be beneficial in all types of courses, especially language courses, because of the student’s ability to listen to information multiple times, Lockett said.

    “I lecture like I normally would except that I have a mic on and then it takes maybe an extra five or ten minutes to have it processed into a podcast,” Lockett said.

    One worry she had about using podcasts was a possible drop in class attendance, but attendance has stayed the same, Lockett said.

    Lockett said a lot more can be done to widen podcast usage on campus, but she said she doesn’t want podcasts to replace classroom interaction.

    Sophomore education major Alyssa Dolny uses lectures on podcast in her basic speech communication class. The podcast materials are often similar to assigned readings but giving students a different way to learn can improve their understanding of the material, Dolny said.

    “For someone like me who’s more auditory than visual, it helps me learn,” Dolny said.

    Romana Hughes, assistant director of the Koehler Center, said podcast use is not prevalent because a study showed that TCU students prefer multimedia study tools like eCollege. Podcasts are more prevalent at commuter schools because students listen to the study materials on the their way to and from school, Hughes said.

    Shawn Kornegay, associate director of communications, wrote in an e-mail that the Office of Communications is working to launch an iTunes page.

    “The iTunes page will be focusing on news and information covering our programs, people and events,” Kornegay wrote. “It will help people further define the university.”