Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 233–245 | Cite as

Making the Decision to Provide Enhanced Podcasts to Post-Secondary Science Students

  • Jane HolbrookEmail author
  • Christine Dupont


Providing students with supplementary course materials such as audio podcasts, enhanced podcasts, video podcasts and other forms of lecture-capture video files after a lecture is now a common occurrence in many post-secondary courses. We used an online questionnaire to ask students how helpful enhanced podcasts were for a variety of course activities and how important having access to the enhanced podcasts was in their decision to miss classes. Student responses from two courses, one introductory and one advanced, were compared. Students in the introductory Genetics course reported that having access to enhanced podcasts was “very important” in their decision to miss class more often (39%) than those in the advanced Microbiology course (20%). They also reported missing more classes than students in the advanced course. Students in both courses found the enhanced podcasts helpful for a range of learning activities. First year students who missed just a few classes and those who missed many classes both found the enhanced podcasts to be very helpful for learning activities. We argue that creating these resources is a good choice for instructors irrespective of the level of the course they teach and that the potential value of these resources, particularly for first year students, outweighs any impact that having access to supplementary enhanced podcasts of the lectures may have on class attendance.


Enhanced podcasts Attendance Teaching and learning strategies Lecture capture technology Program year Absenteeism 



We would like to thank the students in these two courses who took the time to respond to the questionnaire that provided the data that this work is based on, and for support from the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Teaching ExcellenceUniversity of WaterlooOntarioCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooOntarioCanada

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