The researchers wanted to test the effectiveness of taped lectures and contrast that with the performance of those students who attended class and heard the same lecture in person.
To determine the effectiveness, the researchers created two distinct groups. One group of undergraduate general psychology students listened to a 25-min lecture given in person by a professor using PowerPoint slides. Students were provided handouts in the form of copies of the slides to enhance note-taking. A second group of undergraduate psychology students listened to the same lecture in a podcast. T hey too were provided the same PowerPoint handouts.
One week after the different group sessions, students took an exam on lecture content. In what most would deem a startling development, “students in the podcast condition who took notes while listening to the podcast scored significantly higher than the lecture condition.”
Accordingly, based on the comments of the researcher, we need to add, “To see the advantage, the students had to take notes of the podcast AND listen to it more than once.”
In contrast to our support of others who had already postulated that professors could in fact be replaced, Ms. McKinney notes: “So, far from being able to replace professors, the podcasts might give students the benefit of being able to listen to the lecture more than once, and the ability to get the notes more accurately.”