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Traditional learning methods are currently been enhanced or replaced by new e-learning methods. These methods use sophisticated communication equipment to send learning materials to students around the globe. Traditionally, students used to attend lectures and later on practice what they have learnt.
However, with the rapid advancement of internet and information technologies, lectures and training materials are available online.
This allows students to access learning materials at any time and place. In podcasting, lecture materials in form of videos, presentation slides, notes, speeches and audio records are uploaded on the internet. Students can then download these materials and study them. Most students prefer to study online instead of attending classes.
Research question and hypothesis
The research hypothesis is; podcasts lectures are more effective and beneficial to the students as compared to live classroom lectures.
In this research, the main aim is to carry out a comparative analysis of podcasting and live classroom lectures. The research seeks to indentify if learning using podcasts is more effective and beneficial to the students as compared to the traditional classroom lectures.
The study identifies the perception that students have on both learning methods. Though the impacts of using podcast for learning can be directly observed by checking the student’s grades, a more holistic method that evaluates the student’s perception is required. Students using podcast have many advantages as compared to those in traditional lecture theaters.
Some advantages include: ability to access learning materials at anytime, ability to revise notes as student replay podcast videos, ease of use and flexibility. In this survey, the student’s perception, views and attitude will be used to determine the mode of learning they prefer. It is also hypothesized that, podcast are more effective as compared to the traditional classroom lectures.
Required concept and constructs
The constructs and concepts used in this study are:
- The student’s perceptions and views
- Perceived usefulness
- Perceived convenience and ease of use
The first construct evaluates the general perception that students have on podcasts and traditional face to face classroom lectures. This is important as it decides what students prefer. Based on their responses, the hypothesis statement will be proved correct or wrong.
The second construct determines the main reasons why students prefer podcasting to live classrooms. The construct indentifies the benefits of using podcasts during the learning process. If the first construct shows that students prefer podcast to live classroom, they are many reasons to this.
Some of these reasons may not be directly related to the use of podcasts or the students may be using other e-learning methods. In such as case, the data shows correlation without causation. It is therefore necessary to have another construct that evaluates the potential benefits of using podcasts. The construct will evaluate the perceived usefulness of podcast to the learning process.
The last construct checks whether the student’s perception is influenced by ease of use and convenience that comes with podcasts. It is generally expected that students would prefer to study at their comfort.
Podcasts allow students to access notes anytime, reduce travel costs, enables student to study at their own time and comfort. This makes the learning process easier, convenient and enjoyable. The construct will check if the perception that student has is correlated to the convenience that podcasts have.
Methods of measuring constructs
This first construct to measure is student perception on the two modes of study. The student will be asked to select the mode of study they would prefer. The students will be prompted to choose between live classroom lectures and using podcast to study. The results of this construct will be determined mathematically by counting the number of responses.
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To measure perceived usefulness, the student will be prompted to answer questions related to the usefulness of podcasts. To evaluate this construct, it is important that a comparative analysis of both live classroom lectures and using podcast be done.
For example, though students may find podcast to be useful during learning, they may not be as useful as attending traditional class sessions. Also, other students may prefer to use podcast videos as extra notes to supplement what they have learnt in class. The measurement of this construct must therefore be done in comparison to the traditional classroom learning method.
The last construct is perceived ease of use. Students want a mode of study that is flexibility and enjoyable to them. The determination of this construct will be done be measuring the rating that students give in preference of either podcast or live classroom learning method. The two modes of study will be compared by evaluating their accessibility, ease of use, flexibility, cost, comfort and enjoyment.
Data collection tools
The questionnaire will be administered to students within campus. The tool is sufficient in collecting the views, perception and attitudes that students have on using podcasts as a learning tool.
A total of 50 students will be randomly selected. Questionnaires with 10 questions and a brief explanation of the research be carried out will be issued to each of the participating student. To avoid bias, a large number of students will be randomly selected.