Can Creating Podcasts be a Useful Assignment in a Large Undergraduate Chemistry Class?

Emma Bartle, Nancy Longnecker, Mark Pegrum

Abstract


Creating a three-minute podcast about a fundamental chemistry concept was set as a minor assignment in a large university introductory chemistry class with an enrolment of 352. Students were divided into groups of three and assigned the topic of either acids & bases or oxidation & reduction. Students worked as teams to produce a podcast and load it onto the class’s WebCT site as an attachment in a discussion thread. Students were expected to listen to six podcasts produced by teams from their own laboratory class and evaluate the podcasts using an online quiz based on criteria from the marking rubric. Student comments on WebCT and the anonymous class survey questions indicate that students considered this assignment a positive experience. It was done with minimal need for technical tuition on the part of the unit coordinator or demonstrators. These preliminary results encourage the authors to recommend similar assignments in other large, introductory science classes as a means of developing graduate attributes while maintaining development of content knowledge.

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