Guest post – DigiLearn: Recording a podcast for accessible learning

Published by Caroline Carlin on

Author: Nicky Varley, Lecturer in Child Nursing 

Inclusivity is such an important part of teaching. As an academic this is something that should be current and engaging for students.  Since March it became even more important, and we have all had to adapt our way of working online and ensure our teaching sessions are interesting and inclusive for all.   

After utilising Sway, Stream and Wakelet we needed something else, something which could allow us to get our stories across to the students. Light bulb moment – podcasts! 

Incorporating podcasts into teaching could be a way of being very inclusive. Students could listen on the go, at night in bed, in the bath, or out on a walk. They no longer had to be chained to their computers to learn. My colleagues and I created a podcast, and it was easy.   

No recording studio, no special equipment, just the four of us and our Surface Pros.  We appointed a ‘host’ who posed questions to get the conversation flowing. The host also had the responsibility of making sure we stayed on track and covered what we needed to cover.   

The podcast was recorded via Teams then uploaded to Blackboard for the students to listen to. We also included a Padlet underneath the podcast, as we wanted feedback from the students. Padlet is such a useful tool for student feedback, it’s just like the yellow sticky notes I used for classroom feedback, but online – brilliant!   

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, they appreciated that we could share our stories within the podcast – something the students said they had really missed from the classroom.  The trouble with no longer being face to face, is you miss that interaction with students and sometimes online teaching can feel a little, cold.  

Within nursing, sharing our past experiences really helps to paint a picture for our students. This is something I know I have really struggled to recreate with other forms of technology, but now podcasting seems to have changed that.  By using this creative tool not only are we being inclusive, we are being creative. 

Nicky has recently started a collaborative project around the use of podcasts in teaching and learning. Here is the link to a Wakelet collection, which pulls together a number of related resources, articles and artefacts. This second link will allow you to add your own contributions to the Wakelet and wider project. 


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