Podcast Technology Fact Sheet
Summa Health System's internal medicine team used self-guided learning podcasts to provide residents a short and easily accessible way to review specific topics. Residents receive immediate feedback using a Web-based post-test that assesses their learning. An overview of podcasts and how they're created follows.
Podcast Technology for Self Guided Learning: Fact Sheet
What it is: A podcast is a sound or video file that is recorded while using a PC equipped with a microphone.
How it is used: A sound file is created using a PC equipped with an audio input device (microphone). Slides or video content can be added using additional software. The finished file is then uploaded to a web site where resident, faculty or other learners can listen to or view the file. Learners who use iTunes (a web based, free software that allows users to store audio and video files, including podcasts on their PC for later use, or download to a portable music player) can subscribe to podcasts and download them from the internet by simply clicking on a subscription button labeled RSS (Really Simple Syndication).
Special features for learners: Podcasts allow residents and other learners to access specific information when and where they wish to learn, using any computer connected to the internet. They can review specific topics, take a post test or store the audio file for later. Audio and video podcasts allow learners to advance to any point in the presentation, or move back to repeat their learning exposure. In addition, video podcasts add slides or visuals to enhance learning.
Special features for faculty: Podcasts represent a technology which can benefit busy clinician-teachers. Podcast creation for the speaker take only as much time as it takes to prepare for a single lecture or presentation. With a little more time to prepare the file, the talk can be "given" hundreds of times, and knowledge can be assessed by a post test. Using voice inflection, special cautions or comments, faculty members can enhance learning by residents on their service, and use post test data to focus their teaching efforts.
What equipment do I need? Podcasts used in the Summa IM Curriculum for Chronic Care were made using a 12" laptap portable, a USB microphone for input, a consumer grade audio software (Garageband, Apple computer). Slide content was added and timed to the original powerpoint presentation and the finished podcast was posted to an internet website hosted by a faculty member using web page generation software (iWeb, Apple computer). Resident learners were given the web site address and began using and downloading the podcast. More than 90% of resident learners used the podcast for their learning; response has been positive.
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