20-minute podcasts

Dr Philip Garrett, Lecturer in Japanese History

School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Humanities and Social Sciences

What did you do?

I have recently been experimenting with introducing blended learning to an undergraduate module I run (HIS2140 A Survey History of Japan), augmenting lecture delivery with a parallel series of 20-minute podcasts.

Who is involved?

 Dr Philip Garrett, Lecturer in Japanese History

Listen to a section of ‘The Creation of Shinto’ podcast

How did you do it?

I applied for a small amount of money from the School for audio equipment and wrote and recorded a series of podcasts in Semester 2 this year.  I uploaded the podcasts to ReCap/Panopto so that students could access them directly from the Blackboard module for HIS2140.

So, for example I gave a lecture (Japan in Theory) which addressed the historiography of Japan, looking at the steps in development of indigenous history-writing, the effects of the import of European historiography and norms in the nineteenth century and so on.

To accompany this, I recorded a podcast which talked about those indigenous histories in more detail. This meant that I was able to clearly go over these key developmental points while at the same time providing new context and further information (more detail on the contents of these histories and what they tell us about the society of their times) to make listening worthwhile for all students on the module. The fact that it was not simply a recording of the lecture (and is audio-only, not Powerpoint-based) encourages students to listen and think, rather than try to memorise/transcribe the lecture exactly as given in person or on ReCap.

Why did you do it?

The module (HIS2140 A Survey History of Japan) is demanding, as it spans approximately 2,000 years of a history and succession of cultures which are completely new to most of my students. Lectures are a good introduction to the topics we cover, but I want students to be able to take the information in and reflect on it, rather than try to write down every word I say.

I could have ReCapped the lectures, but after viewing a number of ReCapped lectures I decided that it would be better to produce something which was specifically designed for the audio medium and which would complement and augment the lectures.

Does it work?

Student uptake and feedback was excellent this year – on average, 20 students listened to each podcast out of a cohort of 45, some of them listening to each podcast several times. I’ve also received some really positive comments back from students.

Interested in finding out more?

Contact Philip to find out more.

You might also be interested in attending a ReCap: Personal Capture workshop to find out how to make audio and video recordings outside the teaching room environment.

Contact details

Dr Phillip Garrett

Dr Philip Garrett, School of History, Classics and Archaeology




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