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Fietze, S.: Podcasting in Higher Education: Students' Usage Behaviour.

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At German universities, podcasting is still a relatively new method of teaching and learning, on which only few studies are available so far. The present report aims to describe students' usage behaviour and their assessment of podcasting. The findings are based on a survey of students at the University of Flensburg, who took part in lectures recorded and made available as podcasts during the 2007 summer term and 2007/08 winter term. A total of 148 students took part at the two survey sessions. The majority of the surveyed students are inexperienced in the use of podcasts, as the descriptive results show. For most of the respondents, lecture podcasts were their first contact with this medium. Mainly a notebook is used to listen - at home - to the podcast of the recorded lecture. The focus in this regard is on playing back or catching up on the lecture at a later point in time. The main purpose for the students is to systematically prepare ahead of written tests and examinations. Slightly more than half of the respondents consider the opportunity to use podcasts to be no substitute for attending lectures. A clear factor in the success of lecture podcasts is that they are available with no cost involved. Another important factor is that the students can reuse and replay the recorded lecture. Podcasts are considered a possibility to assimilate the contents of lectures better and more efficiently. Students who do not use lecture podcasts justify this by stating that they have difficulties in learning with a computer.