I Lecture, Therefore iPod

The New Scientist posted an interesting article entitled “iTunes university’ better than the real thing” (below are snippets form the article)

Dr Dani McKinney,  a psychologist at the State University of New York in Fredonia, led a study, to find out how much students really can learn from podcast lectures alone – 64 students were chosen. Half of the students attended the class in person and received a printout of the slides from the lecture. The other 32 downloaded a podcast that included audio from the same lecture synchronised with video of the slides. These students also received a printed handout of the material.

Students who downloaded the podcast averaged a C (71 out of 100) on the test – substantially better than those who attended the lecture, who on average mustered only a D (62).

Though her team’s paper is subtitled “Can podcasts replace Professors,” McKinney thinks these technologies can buttress traditional lectures, particularly for a generation that has grown up with the Internet.

“I do think it’s a tool. I think that these kids are programmed differently than kids 20 years ago,” she says.

It will be interesting to see the results of a similar test in years to come of students using paper based books vs eBooks!?