GIFTS: Creating Podcasts in the Media Classroom – Project Details

In recent years, I have grown quite fond of using podcasts as a demonstration of learning for students in my Mass Communication and Media and Society classes. It’s a great way for students to experience, first hand, sound/audio production, while at the same time, thinking about some media related topics.

I’ve gotten some requests recently to share the assignment(s) I use with my students, so here they are!

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Media ecology education: Podcasts as multimodal demonstrations of learning

I recently had the pleasure of developing this article for Explorations in Media Ecology, a publication of the Media Ecology Association.  I have used the podcast exercise  in my courses for a few terms, but last semester was the first time that I asked students to create an entire 4-episode podcast series.  In reviewing my students’ course evaluations, there were some students that expressed frustration at the assignment, though for the most part, students seemed to enjoy the challenge.  They were a pleasure to listen to, and I really felt as if the students rose to the occasion.

Many undergraduate students tackling media ecology for the first time can often feel overwhelmed and confused. They must manage a constantly vacillating shift in focus from course content to reflective personal experience. A media ecology course can expose students to a variety of truths (and some untruths) about the ways in which media influence their world. I have found that one of the most generative – and, according to students, one of the most fun – methods for immersing students in a controlled, deliberate exploration of media is to have them create podcasts. These multimodal demonstrations of learning allow students to independently explore a topic (or topics) of their choice related to media.

Full Access: DOI: 10.1386/eme.16.2-3.239_1