Student Perception and Performance in Blended Courses: Instructor Prepared Podcasts vs. Publisher Prepared Podcasts

Alan F. Chow and Kelly C. Woodford
Department of Management, University of South Alabama

In the blended Business Statistics I course, podcasts have been utilized over the last several years to provide students with lecture content as well as guided examples to each type of problem covered.  In the initial years, podcasts prepared by the instructors were the only course material available to the students in these blended sections.  Previously presented results reflected an increase in overall test scores when the course was converted to the blended format over the previously used traditional format.

In the most recent semester, podcast lectures and guided examples created by the publisher in conjunction with the textbook have been made available to the students in the blended course via the Sakai Media Gallery.  The original instructor podcasts were also available in the same place, though were in difference “categories” or folders.  At the start of the semester, students were instructed to “sample” some of the instructor podcasts and some of the publisher podcasts, and to choose which they felt more comfortable using.  Students were instructed to continue using the preferred source of podcasts for the remainder of the semester.

A survey near the conclusion of the semester will be used to ask students their perceptions of the value of the podcasting method selected.  A series of questions will be asked of the students related to the podcasts for each of the three intermediate exams during the semester.  Students will also be asked their exam scores to look at any significant differences in performance.