Online audio or video tools can be very useful to the modern student. This research paper from the University of Leeds discusses the role and benefit of podcasts to support students using a business simulation.
Audio or video podcasts can be a useful tool to supplement practical exercises such as business simulations. In this paper, we discuss a case study in which different types of podcast were utilised to support the delivery of a course in international business. The students work in groups and run a fictional company using business simulation software, which gives them the opportunity to evaluate their decision making skills. A number of podcasts were used as reusable learning objects for different student cohorts.
Faculty members produced visually enhanced audio podcasts offered tutor discussions of key elements of the computer-assisted business simulation used by the students. The podcasts were made available via the virtual learning environment (Blackboard Vista), as well as for subscription by web browser-based RSS readers, such as Google and downloadable RSS readers, such as iTunes.
Our evaluation of this approach to using podcasts takes into account pedagogic and technical issues. Firstly, faculty members involved in this case study were interviewed to obtain their views and experiences on the process of producing podcasts as well as the suitability of podcasts to support their teaching. Secondly, students were surveyed and interviewed about the value of the podcasts and the way in which they were used.
This work is on-going and initial informal student feedback indicates that the podcasts engaged the students and supported their understanding of the international business module. This paper presents a snapshot of the current findings which generally support the value of this innovative way of using podcasting for learning and teaching.