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Podcasts: A technology for all?

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British Journal of Educational Technology Volume 47, Number 5, ISSN 0007-1013 e-ISSN 0007-1013 Publisher: Wiley


While the pedagogical benefits and challenges of podcasting as a teaching and learning practice are well researched, sometimes with contradictory results, literature on the potential of podcasting as a socially inclusive technology is scanty. Using a quantitative survey design, framed by concepts such as emerging technologies, low-threshold applications and nontraditional students, this study investigated students perceptions at a large institution in South Africa on the access and use of podcasts. Findings indicate that podcasting was well received by all students. Particularly nontraditional students, with specific reference to gender, age and home language, were the ones who engaged most extensively with podcasts. Regular recordings of difficult, content-heavy lectures were perceived as the most effective use of podcasting, showing that course design matters in terms of podcasting usage. Findings also challenged the view of podcasting as facilitating passive learning. In our context, which is defined by severe resource constraints and fear of technology among both lecturers and students, the simplicity and accessibility of podcasts promises a successful mainstream adoption of a low-threshold technology for African higher education.


Gachago, D., Livingston, C. & Ivala, E. (2016). Podcasts: A technology for all?. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(5), 859-872. Wiley. Retrieved November 17, 2019 from .

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