Podcast in an Hour Workshop

Podcasting has become a common vehicle for journalism and audio drama, for entertainment and education. But can podcasts be a form of scholarly communication? As digital and multimedia publishing offer new and intriguing pathways to public consumption, scholars are exploring alternatives to traditional publication venues that may increase the reach and audience for their research. Generated outside the existing systems of review, evaluation, and publication that structure the lifecycle of traditional formats such as monographs and articles, podcasts also present challenges to scholars and publishers in quality control, dissemination, archiving and academic recognition. 

The Podcast in an Hour Workshop engages students, through active learning, in a critical exploration of new forms of scholarly communication, as well as introducing new technical skills. Students participate in a guided discussion that helps to introduce the concepts of access and accessibility, writing and communicating for new audiences, and discoverability and impact. This discussion provides a springboard for collaborative script writing as students construct a podcast that answers a question related to the relevancy of podcasting as a form of scholarly communications. The question may be modulated to engage students in their area of study or the discipline of the course, if this workshop is being integrated. Students then record the podcast, mix sound on the fly, edit the written transcript to include footnotes and bibliography, and post the audio and transcript to the web. 

Workshop Lesson Plan: Podcasting as Scholarly Communication

Learning Objectives: 

  • Develop a set of criteria for quality and effective scholarly communications 
  • Understand the basic processes and technologies needed to publish a podcast 
  • Interrogate and reflect on the changing landscape of scholarly communications and publishing in the digital information landscape 

Lesson Plan:

  1. Discussion and brainstorm (10 mins)
    1. What makes good scholarship?
    2. What makes a good podcast?
    3. What would a good scholarly podcast sound like? Is the podcast a limited form? Can it fit alongside traditional academic publishing as a mode of scholarly communications?
  2. Collaborative scriptwriting (20 mins)
    1. Answer the question: Can a podcast be scholarship?
    2. bit.ly/laidlawpodcast
  3. Recording (10 mins)
  4. Editing (15 mins)
    1. Sound mixing, adding music
    2. Editing of the transcript and adding footnotes and references to ambient noise and music for accessibility
    3. Formatting of Citations
  5. Publishing (5 mins) – this process can overlap the “Reflection” below
    1. Upload the final file to SoundCloud
    2. Publish the transcript and embedded podcast to WordPress site: laidlawpodcast.journals.cdrs.columbia.edu 
  6. Reflection (5 mins)
    1. “2 minute download” and wrap-up (These anonymous reflections can also be added to the site. See: What we Learned)


Download a PDF of the Podcast in an Hour Lesson Plan.