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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Expanding Composition Audiences with Podcasting

by Time Barrow , Ben Mccorkle , Doug Dangler
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Jun 26, 2010 by Teacher Education
Overview: This web site offers many examples of assignments and podcasts. It explores various uses of podcasting to engage different audiences in three major sites of composition: the classroom, the writing center, and the professional composition conference. The site outlines assignments that require students to produce their own class podcasts, explains how podcasts could be used by Writing Centers to deliver content and could be used to disseminate information to conference participants.
Learning Goals: Users are encouraged to consider the use of podcasting as a communication tool with the focus on engaging a variety of different audiences. Users will explore podcasting: students- in the classroom instructors - the use of podcasting as a pedagogical tool support staff - to deliver content & materials conference organizers to provide information and materials
Target Student Population: College Lower Division, College Upper Division, Graduate School, Professional, High School(perhaps), College General Ed
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No special skills are needed to use the site; however the site is directed toward a higher education audience. Also basic technology skills would be needed to create a podcast.
Type of Material: Website/journal article useful as a development tool for students, support centers and professional development
Recommended Uses: Depending upon the perspective of the user, the site can be used as a resource to teach awareness of podcasting as a tool for various composition audiences. The resources provided by the site teach a user how to create a podcast, provides links to podscasting applications and media and examples. In addition, instructors are provided with actual assignments which can be modified for their classroom.
Technical Requirements: No special technology requirements to navigate this site; however, the sample podcasts require the use of a media player (QuickTime), sound card and speakers or headset.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The website is comprehensive to a variety of audiences relating to composition and includes links to may rich resources.
Concerns: The text on the site occasionally precludes conciseness and requires the reader to remain carefully focused. Skill development is weak. There might have been more models. A podcast version of the article itself would have been a great way to demonstrate the material.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: The learning objectives are not well defined, but the article could be used as background reading. Students may be able to think about how to construct a better podcast. Sample uses are outlined for each composition audience and could easily be used as templates to be readily integrated in the classroom or writing center. The content transfer well to other disciplines.
Concerns: The learning objectives are not clearly identified but are inherent within the context of the article.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: The navigation bar with a few clearly labeled links made navigating within the site easy for the user.
Concerns: Navigation could be improved: links do not open in new windows so the user may become lost in cyberspace or accidently close out of the site altogether. A brief overview explaining how to use the site would be helpful. The site is heavily text based without much formatting. Also the text is off-balance with the “Sample” insert making it necessary for heavy scrolling and making reading difficult on the “Classroom Audiences” page.