From lecture theatre to portable media: students' perceptions of an enhanced podcast for revision

Saran Shantikumar
Medical Teacher 2009, 31 (6): 535-8

BACKGROUND: Podcasting is a novel medium used worldwide for information transfer and entertainment, available in both audio-only and enhanced audiovisual formats.

AIMS: We aim to investigate medical students' perceptions of a series of enhanced podcasts for revision.

METHOD: Thirteen audiovisual podcasts covering general surgery were developed, consisting of a PowerPoint slideshow with a voiceover narrative. A questionnaire was distributed to 211 final year medical students two months after the podcast became available. This aimed to address their perceptions of the enhanced podcast series, as well as their current experience with podcasts and digital media players. The website from which the podcasts were available provided details on the number of downloads.

RESULTS: Students who used the resource felt that the enhanced podcasts were straightforward to access, were a useful learning supplement, and felt that similar resources for the remainder of the undergraduate medical syllabus would be useful for revision purposes. Students who had also used other audio-only medical podcasts indicated that the addition of a visual component improved the value of the resource.

CONCLUSIONS: Audiovisual podcasts show promise as a revision aid that can be incorporated into undergraduate education. Further study will gain insight into the potential roles and outcomes of enhanced podcasting within the medical curriculum.

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