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ERIC Number: EJ858375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1479-7860
Profcasts and Class Attendance--Does Year in Program Matter?
Holbrook, Jane; Dupont, Christine
Bioscience Education, v13 Article c2 Jun 2009
The use of technology to capture the audio and visual elements of lectures, to engage students in course concepts, and to provide feedback to assignments has become a mainstream practice in higher education through podcasting and lecture capturing mechanisms. Instructors can create short podcasts or videos to produce "nuggets" of information for students to engage in outside of normal class time or they can create alternative representations of lectures that students can refer to after the live lecture is over. Students express satisfaction with having access to audio podcasts of lectures, although there is evidence that video, rather than audio podcasts, are more valuable and more frequently accessed by students. There is evidence that absenteeism is not encouraged by providing supplementary course materials; however, class attendance dropped after the introduction of audio podcasts. In any case there is a persistent concern among instructors that offering students access to alternative forms of lectures will have a detrimental effect on class attendance, which in turn will impact their academic performance. Their concerns seem valid as there is ample evidence that class attendance and academic success are linked. When supplementary course materials in the form of mpeg-4 multimedia files of PowerPoint lecture slides combined with the instructor's voice were made available in two Biology courses at the University of Waterloo, one introductory and one advanced, the authors decided to gather feedback from the students on how they used these materials and whether they reported that they missed more classes after these multimedia files became available. Results show that even though the response rate to the survey was low in the introductory class, it is clear that the respondents in both courses found that having access to the supplementary multimedia files was helpful, and that these students use them for valid purposes (such as reviewing for the final exam and making notes). This pilot study also revealed one difference between the two courses with respect to absenteeism. Students in the large, introductory course, with mostly first year students, reported a much greater tendency to miss "a lot more classes" than normal because of the availability of "podcasts" than upper year students. Both groups reported that having access to these materials represented a temptation for others and themselves to be absent from class but that they were a helpful resource when a class was missed. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A