Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


"Course Casting" is Here!

Two posts ago (E-Learning Will Continue its Growth!), I mentioned that delivery of learning will become increasingly mobile. Then I read the November 28, 2005, Newsweek article Professor In Your Pocket and learned how swiftly this has already become a reality! And I am confident that this is barely the tip of the iceberg.

Much to the dismay of some high-tuition-paying parents who believe in the effectiveness of traditional classroom lectures and professor-student interactions, "course casting" is now really here! It has been implemented this year on a dozen college campuses, such as Stanford, Purdue, Duke, Drexel, and U. of Washington. Simply stated, college students can skip classes and download lectures onto their iPods. The idea is to use course casting to supplement, and occasionally replace, large and impersonal lectures. Parents believe that these "lectures-to-go" are not giving them - or their college-age children - their money's worth.

Newsweek writer Peg Tyre ponders, "Could ivy-covered lecture halls become as obsolete as the typewriter?... course casting has become as popular as a keg party on homecoming weekend." Consider these numbers. At Purdue (enrollment 38,000), students have downloaded 40,000 lectures since the start of this semester!

Today's savvy college kids, who have been downloading songs onto their iPods and MP3s for years, love the format and convenience offered by course casting, and don't expect their parents to understand. Read the full Newsweek article for both the proponents' viewpoints and the potential pitfalls of course casting. It is certainly a very different world from my own college days! I can't help but wonder what campus life and learning will be like when my three boys enter college in less than 10 years.


  • Jenna, I have no evidence to back it up but my intuition tells me this article is correct!

    I'm teaching Flash and Photoshop at our local community college, and I want to try podcasting to see if my students use it.

    I have just started a web blog, so that's my first step. I hope to be able to start podcasting later in the semester.

    By Blogger Professor Phelps, at 12:43 PM EST  

  • Prof. Phelps, Good luck with your blog and podcasting in your courses! Please write again in the future and let me and the readers know how it goes. Many people ask me for real-life stories regarding podcasting. It would be great to hear yours. Thanks for writing! ~ Jenna

    By Blogger Jenna Sweeney, at 8:28 AM EST  

  • HI There!

    I teach at Oklahoma City Community College and we have started course casting here. It's been a huge hit to our students. It's not hard to do, and the students are asking more and more for us to "make" our professors course cast.

    We still have attendance policies, so students have to come to class. But, we offer the course casts as supplemental instruction.

    Right now there are only two sections being course cast. And there are only 50 students between them. But, there have been over 140 downloads from the site since we started two weeks ago. The students report they love it, and we're glad to be able to take the three minutes it takes to upload a class lecture.

    If you'd like to check out what we do, go to

    Since we started many professors on campus have been training with us to make thier classes available. This is a great tool!



    By Blogger markus schneberger, at 6:11 PM EST  

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