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July 23, 2008

PsychoPod: conversations in cognitive psychology

At the beginning of 2007 we funded a small podcasting project called PsychoPod, undertaken jointly by Nigel Holt and Jim Crawley (Bath Spa University) and Ian Walker (University of Bath).  The intention was to develop a series of podcasts aimed at undergraduates on similar course modules in cognitive psychology at the two institutions and to undertake some survey work looking at how successful they were at augmenting a more traditional approach to course delivery.

The final report and copies of the resulting podcasts were delivered to us some time ago but I have just got round to doing something with them :-).  Four podcasts were produced, as follows:

I'm not sure how these were originally distributed to the students on the psychology courses but they were delivered to us as MP3 files on a CD-ROM.  So, what to do to make them available?  I asked around (using Twitter) for suggestions of a podcasting equivalent to Slideshare - i.e. a social network through which I could upload, host and share the podcasts.  Several people suggested Odeo, a service which turns out to be more like Technorati than Slideshare in the sense that it aggregates podcasting feeds from other sources rather than hosting the content directly itself.

So, I uploaded the MP3 files to the Eduserv Web server, created a simple RSS feed for the four podcasts and submitted it to Odeo.  I then waited a few days while the content got agreggated into an Odeo channel.  It was easy enough to do and seems to have worked fine.  I'm not sure how much 'educational' (by which I mean 'academic'... by which I mean 'university level') content there is on Odeo and it is possible that I could have made a better choice of service but the point really was to see how easy it was to make the stuff available so it doesn't matter too much.

As an alternative approach, I could also have added the content to iTunes or iTunes U I guess?  I didn't do so largely because I felt it was more appropriate for the universities concerned to do that directly themselves, rather than me doing it as a funder on their behalf (though one might make the same argument about my use of Odeo).

Suggestions for alternative (perhaps more overtly academic) podcast hosting and/or aggregating services are very welcome.


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I did a quick read of the final report, available after following the first link (Psychopod).

It's amazing that the quantitative results of the questionnaire are not presented, and that only positive free text remarks are quoted in the final report, which, by the way, could have benefited from some editing.

apologies for the confusion. I should have made clear in the original post that findings from the evaluation of student attitudes to the podcasts are in the process of being published / presented at conference. Once I have more details I will share them here and/or thru a new blog post.

At SlideShare, we recommend people use the Internet Archive to host their mp3 files for slidecasts.

We have a small slide show with instructions here: http://blog.slideshare.net/2008/06/10/use-the-internet-archive-to-host-mp3-audio-for-your-slidecast/

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