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Attendance in Classes that are Podcasted December 12, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Educational Podcasts, Podcasting, University Podcasting.

From personal experience I can tell you that students still come to class. Sure, there’s a class participation component to the grade, but it’s not like everyone misses all of the allowed classes.

Consider this quote from: http://www.theeyeopener.com/article/2856

And some professors are using podcasts so that students don’t have to fumble with tape recorders during classes. University of Waterloo professors Robert Park and Peter Douglas both make podcasts of their lectures. Park, an anthropology professor, says some of his students were concerned about attendance levels dropping.

“They were concerned other students wouldn’t come to class, and students who did should get credit for it,” he says. “But as far as I could tell, attendance was normal.”

Attendance in Douglas’s classes didn’t seem to decrease, he says, but this may have been due to the mathematical nature of his course. “Just listening without being in the lecture at all might have been confusing,” he says.

If that’s the only negative you can come up with, consider all the positives… even for those who can’t (or don’t) come to a class now and then. Another quote from a different article: (see full MTV story here)

“It takes the pressure off of students with respect to note taking, so they can feel like they can actually listen and not always be worrying about writing everything you say down,” said Lori Leachman, a professor of economics at Duke. Leachman also counts podcasting’s appeal to auditory learners and convenience for absent students among the technology’s strengths.

If you’re thinking about podcasting your course or lecture, and haven’t because you’re afraid of attendance… my advice is to try it and see what happens. You can always shut it down if you find that the students are not coming to class. My advice then, though, would be to understand why they aren’t coming to class, analyse if grades are the same, and come up with other reasons for them to come to class (participation grade, quizzes, in class projects that are not podcasted, etc.).



1. davidvogt - February 3, 2007

Your article is very informative and helped me further.

Thanks, David

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