18 February 2009

Podcasting lectures works

New Scientist reports that students who listen to lecture podcasts can do better than those who actually sit their butts in seats for class. But there's an important qualifier...

Students who downloaded the podcast averaged a C (71 out of 100) on the test – substantially better than those who attended the lecture, who on average mustered only a D (62).

But that difference vanished among students who watched the podcast but did not take notes. Students who listened to the podcast one or more times and took notes had an average score of 77, McKinney says.

As always, much replies on the students. The authors note that with the podcasts alone, some -- in fact, most -- of the students listened to the podcast more than once. So what may be going on here is, in part, a simple repetition effect. You have more opportunities to learn something if you are exposed to it more thane once.

The original paper is here.

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