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A total of 508 (91%) out of 557 students completed the student questionnaire. Of the 508 respondents, 32 (6%) students responded that they have no experience in watching or listening to podcasts. The survey was divided into four sections. The first, completed by all 508 students, was demographic information such as College/University attending; as well as the level of current standing, undergraduate and graduate. The second, experience, identified if the student had ever used podcasts, which types were used, and how are podcasts that are listened to or watched selected. The third, effectiveness, collected information on student perception of learning styles and perception of value of podcasts. The fourth, use, questioned self use, if their instructors have ever used podcasts in courses, whether or not they have utilized a podcast multiple times for further learning, and whether using instructor selected podcasts to focus on course learning
objectives in place of a required textbook is acceptable. A hypothesis was drawn:
H0 Having experience with podcasts has no effect on students' acceptance of replacing required textbooks with instructor selected learning outcome focused podcasts.
Ha. Having experience with podcasts has a positive effect on students' acceptance of replacing required textbooks with instructor selected learning outcome focused podcasts.
In order to validate the research question, a pilot study was conducted. Data was collected by surveying online undergraduate Business students and faculty in one higher education institution. This set a base understanding in order to benchmark how well students understood and used podcasting. In the pilot study, students were asked to define podcasting. Descriptions of podcasting given included: subscription, posted, GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 262 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1 link, video, audio, and short message. This gave the author reason to believe that understanding of the definition of podcasting has expanded beyond the traditional scope of the push feed RSS subscription as it was originally designed. The author defined podcasting to include links that may be posted to the LMS being used at the surveyed institution. This definition was provided to participants prior to completing the survey. Two surveys were distributed, one to undergraduate and graduate MBA Business students from four higher education institutions and the other to faculty of Business courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at the same four institutions. The surveys were distributed in week nine of the program, in both spring and fall, following midterm exams. The student survey was administered through an external party, by providing an invitation and link in the course learning management systems: Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas. The faculty was invited to participate in the survey through an emailed invitation that included the external party’s survey link. This was done in order to control the respondent’s invitations and responses received. Responses from faculty who teach both online and on-campus were recorded.
Completion of the surveys was voluntary for both groups and students understood that data received would be assigned random numbers with associated indicator variable for program level and college.
The response rate may normally be noted as impacted by the method of survey, online versus hard print copy however; in this case measuring the perception of online students via an online method makes sense.
These students, who do not normally meet on campus, already are prepared to receive all of their learning materials and direction online. In order to reach online faculty, who like their students, are in various states, an emailed invitation is the most efficient manner to make contact. Students surveyed took courses that included weekly modules consisting of: written lecture included as notes on the PowerPoint slides, discussion forums, quiz, case-studies that included equations to use in solving problems.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
In a pilot study, students were asked to define podcasting. Descriptions given were subscription, posted, link, video, audio, and short message. This gave the author reason to believe that understanding of the definition of podcasting has expanded beyond the traditional scope of the push feed subscription as it was originally designed. This information led to the author defining podcasting to include links that may be posted to the LMS being used at the surveyed institution. Students use podcasts more for educational purposes and entertainment than for hobbies or as a news source. Of the students who have utilized podcasts, either video or audio, 74% noted using podcasts for educational purposes, 58% use podcasts for entertainment, and 39% for hobbies. Students already accept podcasts as an education medium, as long as the podcasts present information they are trying to obtain.
When students were asked to share how they learn best, the majority (71%) indicated that they prefer multiple learning style methods. Looking further, the results show that 58% want to receive course information in chunks, whereas none of the students indicated a preference for longer lectures that included complete lesson materials. Students noted long complete lectures, not chunked, covering a broader group of objectives, as being the least effective and valued format for learning. This gives credence to the idea that focused learning and depth is more sought after by students than a broader view. 68% of students indicated that they retain what they learn when learning objectives are presented in a manner that may be reviewed multiple times. Only 9% of students saw discussions as being an important tool in reaching learning objectives. Students showed preference for videos (48%) over an audio only option (29%) as a preferred learning mode. This is consistent with Mayer’s (2003) Theory of Multichannel Learning, which states the need of including both words and images.
Faculty was also surveyed to determine how they felt students learned best. The results of the faculty survey showed that faculty and students agree that students learn best when multiple learning styles are addressed. 82% of faculty noted that lessons presented in multiple learning styles reach student needs the best. Faculty identified the need to present materials in chunks (67%) over providing information in long GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 263 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1 lectures (4%), which was consistent with student perception. 38% of faculty perceived discussions to be a more important means of reaching learning objectives than students. Faculty too chose video representation (26%) over an audio format as a preferred learning mode, reflecting that of students. This points to the need to deliver information in a shortened, more manageable format, which is consistent with the finding of Donnelly & Berg (2006) in order to reach students as they perceived that they learn best. This also shows that faculty is in agreement with this need and should look for ways to meet this need. Podcasting would be a means for meeting these goals as its general principle is to offer video and/or audio delivery of information in a short focused format that may be downloaded and viewed multiple times in order to meet multiple learning styles. Utilizing discussions to reach learning objectives were seen as far more important by faculty (38%) than by students (9%).
Students indicated that they desire the ability to review course learning objective material multiple times.
Survey results showed that 65% of students who have watched or listened to podcasts in the past have done so multiple times in order to gain a better grasp of the subject matter. This is consistent with previous studies performed by Robson & Greensmith (2009) and Graver & Roberts (2013), noting that students feel that podcasts used for reviewing course materials improves learning. Faculty in this survey agreed with students and previous student studies when 54% recognized that online students learn best and retain what they learn when learning objectives are presented in a manner that may be reviewed multiple times. Faculty should consider including podcasts that focus on course learning objectives as a review in order to meet students study needs.
Although 29% of students stated that they are likely to read the entire textbook chapter from beginning to end when learning about identified course objectives, 65% indicated that they are more likely to search for the answer by looking for important points in the chapter, skipping what seems to not answer the question.
The remaining 6% of the students surveyed indicated that they seek out topic videos. These findings fall in line with how faculty saw student study methods to be true. However, faculty noted an even higher rate of direct searches, citing students to be three times more likely to search for answers by skimming the textbook than to read the chapter from start to finish. This points to the need for faculty to chunk information and include video to support lesson learning objectives, both of these needs may be addressed through the use of video podcasts. Chunking can allow podcasts, to meet the student's instructional needs no provided by text books by allowing them to “skim” across video podcast to find the desired instructional material.
In ranking the level of importance for the use of podcasts in courses, students emphatically identified video podcasts that contain information on how to solve equations or problems top on the list (69%). 34% of students surveyed felt that podcasts were also helpful in providing an explanation in practical use to Business course topics. The students did not perceive podcasts to be nearly as useful for other areas such as explaining a historical perspective, for course announcements (1%), anticipatory set attention grabbers (3%), or explanation of theory (1%). The faculty survey results show disconnect from where faculty see it is important to use podcasts in courses and where students perceive podcasts to be of the most service.
Faculty note using podcasts to show how to solve equations to be of the least important, which is concerning since students value it the most. Faculty rank using podcasts to explain the historical perspectives, and discussion starters as being the most important (53%), followed by giving an explanation of practical use (48%), using them for attention grabber anticipatory sets (41%), and announcements (35%). These results point to the need for faculty to integrate podcasts into the lesson in areas that students find useful in order to encourage students to utilize the technology in the learning process. Although all students surveyed are part of courses which utilize podcasts, in addition to chapter readings, and other materials, students did not necessarily make use of the podcasts or notice who authored the podcast. Only 32% of students surveyed noted the podcasts used by their instructors in course presentations were made by their own instructors, whereas, 3% were made from other sources. Students noted (26%) that no podcasts had been made available in the course. Students who noted instructor made podcasts were being used were 89% more GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 264 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1 likely to view the podcast. This suggests that faculty made podcasts, which are identified as such, would increase the use and awareness of availability of podcasts in courses. Students perceive faculty made resources as more valuable than outside sources.
A reason for the difference between the number of courses actually utilizing podcasts and the number of students who noticed podcasts being offered could be that students do not realize that the links offered are podcasts, links are not differentiated from text or websites. An area of further research should look into whether or not if podcasts links that include an explanation indicating content, use and format will increase student observation and thereby increase use of podcasts being offered in courses. The results show that students perceive instructor selected, learning objective focused podcasts as a viable option to be used in the place of textbooks. The majority, 71%, of students noted yes; podcasts would be acceptable in the place of textbooks, while 14% of students noted that required textbooks are absolutely necessary in courses.
Another 15% of students were not sure, stating that podcast use in the place of required textbooks could be acceptable.
The survey results indicate those students who have never listened to or watched a podcast before would be more reluctant to choose podcasts over a required textbook in courses. Upon further review, of those with no experience with podcasts, half noted that they would not desire podcasts in place of textbooks. The other half noted that they would welcome faculty selected podcasts that focus on course learning objectives in place of a required textbook. Faculty were asked if they would consider using podcasts to focus on course learning objectives in the pace of a required textbook. While some faculty (9%) showed that they are in fact currently utilizing podcasts in the place of a required textbook, 29% are against replacing textbooks with podcasts. 25% of faculty indicated that they would indeed consider using podcasts instead of textbooks and other 44% noted that they may consider this as an option.