What is it?

A podcast is a digital audio file about a specific topic that is released in a serial format for download to a computer or personal device. They can be shared on Blackboard with students. 


Source: https://flic.kr/p/5brkj8


Uses & Benefits

Podcasting can be highly beneficial to both the educator and to the student. In essence, if one was to record their lectures for a module each week, these recordings could be released as a series of podcasts for that module. The podcasts could be supplemental material, revision material or just your own lectures.  It's important to note that even the most popular entertainment podcasts do not go over one hour.

Some uses include:

  • Improving accessibility for learners
  • Facilitating listening to lectures on the go
  • Using a recorded series used for the same module the following year
  • Recording full lectures for revision or supplementary material
  • Sharing your work with a wider audience, where podcasts are shared publicly via a blog, iTunes, or Soundcloud
  • Podcasts can also be created by students for the purposes of assessment, engagement and collaboration

Learn More

Click on the image to follow through an interactive online lesson (from AllAboard) and, if you successfully complete it and an associated quiz, you can earn a digital badge.‌‌‌‌


Get Started

Podcasts can be recorded using a built in or USB microphone connected to your computer through programmes like Audacity and uploaded to Blackboard as an audio file.

Your first step in podcasting is to gather all necessary hardware and software such as: 

  • Audacity and LAME
  • A computer with a built-in or USB microphone
  • A place to host your podcasts (likely as audio uploads on Blackboard)

Your next step should include some careful planning.

  • What is the purpose of your podcasting?  Will you record full lectures?  Will you record revision podcasts for after lectures?  Will you record podcasts of supplementary material?
  • Once you have decided your main objective it will be necessary to map out your first podcast.  Script it out loosely with times and key points. 


  • You can begin recording in Audacity once you feel confident that you are prepared.  You can always pause recording and edit parts out later in the session.  
  • You can also use the Audacity resource on this section of the site to learn some editing tips.  One of the more useful areas will be Effects > Noise Reduction.  
  • When your podcast is completed you can export the project as an .mp3 file and fill in the data for the recording.  


  • It is important to consider how you host your podcasts.  Uploading them as .mp3 files means that your students can download them and listen to them without an Internet connection.  Making them only available to stream means that the user has to have connectivity and might use their own data if away from a Wi-Fi connection. 
  • Make a decision about where on your course you would like to upload these podcasts.  You can create a content area specifically for them if you like.  In the content area, click on Build > Audio to upload your new podcasts.  

http://tidepodcast.org/ Today in Digital Education Doug Belshaw and Dai Barnes A regular podcast from Dai Barnes and Doug Belshaw about education, technology, and everything in between
https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/center-for-excellence-in-learning/id209267619?mt=2 CELT Podcasts CELT - NUIG A series of recordings and podcasts from events at the Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), NUI Galway, Ireland.
https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/ryan-institute-nui-galway/id949655061?mt=2 Ryan Institute Podcasts Ryan Institute - NUIG The Ryan Institute Podcast Channel features a series of interviews and seminars on Environmental, Marine and Energy Research.
http://www.nuigalway.ie/humanities/podcasts/ School of Humanities Podcasts Humanities - NUIG A collection of video and audio podcasts shared by the school of humanties
https://soundcloud.com/nuighumanities School of Humanities Podcasts Humanities - NUIG A collection of audio podcasts from the school available on Soundcloud
https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/history-7b-spring-2006-us/id461116811?mt=10 History 7B Jennifer Burns - UC Bekeley Burns records lectures and can be found under UC Berkeley and under her own name. UC Berkeley also produce a plethora of podcasts across the disciplines
https://itunes.apple.com/ie/itunes-u/psychiatry/id796432735?mt=10 Psychology Univesity of Oxford - Pyschology These podcasts provide an introduction to core topics in psychiatry, and to research undertaken in the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry. This series is relevant to health-care professionals and members of the public. The topic podcasts are particularly relevant to medical students studying psychiatry.
https://itunes.apple.com/ie/itunes-u/approaching-shakespeare/id399194760?mt=10 Approaching Shakespeare Oxford University Each lecture in this series focuses on a single play by Shakespeare, and employs a range of different approaches to try to understand a central critical question about it.


Further information & useful links:

Educause’s “7 things you should know about….Podcasting” : https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7003.pdf

Educause’s  “7 things you should know about….RSS”: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7024.pdf

Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching: General Resources on Podcasting:  https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/podcasting/

Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast

Audacity – Open Source software for multi-track recording & editing: http://www.audacityteam.org/

Audacity (2015) Audacity - Download. Available at: http://web.audacityteam.org/download [Accessed 27 July 2015].

Hicks, Kristen (2014) "The Benefits of Using Podcasting in Higher Education", Edcetera, 2 May. Availabe at: http://edcetera.rafter.com/the-benefits-of-using-podcasting-in-higher-education [Accessed 27 July 2015].

LAME (2015)  Main - MP3 for Audacity(R) - LAME and FFMpeg Libraries for Audacity, the Free and Open Source Audio Editor. Availabe at: http://lame.buanzo.org/#lamewindl [Accessed 27 July 2015].

Lynda.com (2015) Up and Running with Audacity with Garrick Chow. Availabe at: http://www.lynda.com/Audacity-tutorials/Up-Running-Audacity/111697-2.html [Accessed 27 July 2015].

Morrissey, J. (2012) "Podcast Steering of Independent Learning in Higher Education", AISHE-J, 4 (1), 1-12. Availabe at: http://aran.library.nuigalway.ie/xmlui/handle/10379/2911 [Accessed 27 July 2015].Audacity (2015). Audacity -