Ben R. Atkinson

EDU720 Week 4: Designing and Evaluating Podcasts

EDU720 Week 4: Designing and Evaluating Podcasts

This week has been very useful in terms of helping me to further develop ideas for my flipped classroom approach and consider how to create successful podcast resources.

Thinking about the specifics of producing podcasts for the flipped learning activity, I found the resources from Katie Gimbar and Andy Peisley to be very useful in helping me to further develop my ideas for the podcasts in my flipped learning activity. As Gimbar points out ‘it’s you delivering the lecture information. Someone else is not giving the information in your classroom’ (Gimbar, 2011). I found this point to be very interesting as it suggests that there shouldn’t be a differentiation between the practitioner in the classroom and one presenting/delivering the podcast – they should be one at the same person. At first, this makes perfect sense, but when you consider in more depth there are many examples of podcasts and video resources where the presenter puts on a voice or tries to be something their not. Peisley picks up on this point in the guidance podcast for this week’s activity, suggesting that actually ‘making a bit of a fool of yourself is also helpful’ (Peisley, 2019) – it shows the students that the podcast is real, you are you and the students feel relaxed that, as Gimbar puts it, the ‘language is similar, you can say things in a way that you like them to be said. You can ensure the students relate to this’ (Gimbar, 2011).

Peisley goes on to make important points about the context of the podcast which are echoed in the IMPALA model funded by the HEA. He points out that, as practitioners, we should ‘focus on the pedagogy’ rather than ‘spending a lot of time achieving high production values’. He goes on to point out that the podcasts for this EDU720 module are often recorded in one take using a simple piece of recording software on a laptop (Peisley, 2019). This idea of low production values is echoed by Randel from the University of Leicester who suggests all you need is a ‘decent headset with a microphone [and] audacity software to download free’ (COFAOnlineUNSW, 2011). Once you’ve got over the idea of producing a top-quality product, you can start to relax into the recording of each podcast and really focus on the learning content and how it relates not only to the LOs but also, in my case, to the final summative assessment. The IMPALA model then has proved to be really useful when thinking about the content of the podcast and how it might be structured. The model utilises ‘10 variables, and each variable offers multiple options, that practitioners need to consider before designing and developing their own podcast’ (IMPALA, 2019) and by making one choice in each section, you will find that soon you develop a clear pathway from which you can develop your podcasts. Of particular interest to me, was the idea of ‘style’ whether formal or informal (this goes back to what Gimbar and Peisely were saying earlier), with the IMPALA model suggesting an informal tone was more appealing to students – ‘A friendly tone invites students to learn and helps to build intimacy with the speaker’ (IMPALA, 2019). The idea of structure and reusability were also interesting, as it was while I was completing my form that I decided to split my podcasts into separate sections focusing on a particular artist, thus meaning they would also be reusable in future years or on separate modules where the artist might be of interest.

Reflecting on what my peers thought of the process, I noticed something interesting in Jason’s IMPALA form – he’d pointed out specific key resources which compliment his podcast and encourage the students to jump off into independent learning. This is something I comment on within the final forum for Week 4, suggesting it will ‘ensure the students are fully engaged with the process’ (Atkinson-Foster, 2019) and that ‘ I’ve seen colleagues have a lot of success with these kinds of podcasts covering a skill that would normally be demonstrated in class. The students take to it really well as they can refer back to the video whenever they like’ (Atkinson-Foster, 2019).

My understanding of the use of podcasting in flipped classroom and blended learning approaches has changed significantly over the course of this week, given how much I have learnt about the way the podcasts could be delivered; focusing on the pedagogy, using clear and concise language, not spending too much time trying to achieve high production values. All of these points will feed into my research and development when I am actually producing my own podcasts and I will try, in particular, to achieve quite a relaxed, conversational feeling to the resources which I hope will put the students at ease and encourage them to take a deeper approach to the whole activity.

Reference List

Atkinson-Foster, B. (2019) Topic: Week 4: Forum – Share Your IMPALA Model Form. Posted on 25th February 2019. Available at: (Accessed: 26 February 2019).

COFAOnlineUNSW (2011) Increasing student engagement using podcasts – Case study – YouTube. Available at: (Accessed: 24 February 2019).

Gimbar, K. (2011) Katie Gimbar’s Flipped Classroom – why it has to be me! – YouTube. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2019).

IMPALA (2019) IMPALA – Podcasts and Other Project Outputs. Available at: (Accessed: 24 February 2019).

Peisley, A. (2019) EDU720 – Week 4: Podcast 1 – You can do it. Available at: (Accessed: 24 February 2019).


About The Author

Ben R. Atkinson is a writer, musician, and presenter who can be heard broadcasting on radio stations around the world, is known for his novels, radio dramas, and who writes and performs his own music in the country/folk genre. Ben is currently studying for his PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Lincoln in the UK.