Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Podcasting by synchronising PowerPoint and voice: What are the pedagogical benefits?

By Darren K. Griffin, David Mitchell and Simon Thompson


The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of audio-visual synchrony in podcasting and its possible pedagogical benefits. `Synchrony' in this study refers to the simultaneous playback of audio and video data streams, so that the transitions between presentation slides occur at ''lecturer chosen'' points in the audio commentary. Manufacturers of lecture recording software (e.g. ProfCast) would have us believe that the synchrony of image and audio should improve the learning experience. We have yet to see in the literature any empirical evidence to support this hypothesis. In our study, 90 participants in two groups undertook two electronic lectures (e-lectures) on two separate topics, the subject matter of neither was familiar to them beforehand. Each group experienced one ''synchronous'' presentation (e-lecture) of one of the topics, and one ''separate'' presentation (i.e. PowerPoint and audio files separately presented) of the other topic. Each group therefore experienced both ''synchronous'' and ''separate'' delivery and they were then given an MCQ test that assessed five levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Results show no differences in innate ability between the two groups but the evidence supported our primary hypothesis in that statistically significantly higher test scores were seen when participants viewed a synchronous e-lecture; these scores were accounted for by subjects' performance at three of the five levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Qualitative `attitude' survey results also displayed participant preference towards the synchronous over the asynchronous mode of delivery, and in spite of general acceptance of the proposed benefits of electronic proceedings, a majority preference towards traditional rather than electronic lectures. Despite this conservatism, this paper explores in more detail the potential benefits of podcasting via synchronous PowerPoint and voice

Topics: QA76
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2009). 532–539 Author's personal copy
  2. (2000). A few thoughts on cognitive overload. Intellectica,
  3. (2001). A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial of teaching provided by a computer-based multimedia package versus lecture. doi
  4. (2004). Automating lecture capture and broadcast: Technology and videography. doi
  5. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. doi
  6. (1984). Communications flows: A consensus in the United States and Japan.
  7. (2001). Computer assisted learning is an effective way of teaching endocrinology. doi
  8. (1993). Computer-based instruction versus instructor-based instruction of interpretive clinical pathology case analysis.
  9. (2002). Delivering digitally: Managing the transition to the knowledge media. doi
  10. (2002). Does the medium change the message? The impact of a web-based genetics course on university students’ perspectives on learning and teaching. doi
  11. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. London and doi
  12. (1980). Effectiveness of computer-based college teaching: A meta-analysis of findings. doi
  13. (2008). Griffin et al./Computers & Education 53 (2009) 532–539Author's personal copy
  14. (2005). Implementing mobile environments using learning objects: The Athabasca University digital reading room, doi
  15. (1998). Investigation of the potential for a computer-based tutorial program covering the cardiovascular system to replace traditional lectures. doi
  16. (2009). ITunes in the classroom: Can podcasts replace professors? doi
  17. (2001). Learning on demand a hybrid synchronous/asynchronous approach. doi
  18. (2002). Learning preferences, computer attitudes, and student evaluation of computerised instruction. doi
  19. (2002). Multimedia comprehension skills predicts differential outcomes of web-based and lecture courses. doi
  20. (2001). Multimedia for learning: Methods and development.
  21. (2004). PowerPoint’s power in the classroom: Enhancing students’ self-efficacy and attitudes. doi
  22. (1995). The acceptance of computer assisted learning by medical students. The Australian and New Zealand doi
  23. (2005). The blended learning cookbook. United Kingdom: Saffron Interactive.
  24. (1931). The College Lecture, Long Derided, May Be Fading” by William Honan.
  25. (2001). The computer-based lecture. doi
  26. (2003). Using PowerPoint for ESL teaching.
  27. (2005). Using web-based instruction to improve large undergraduate biology courses: An evaluation of a hybrid course format. doi
  28. (2004). Virtual learning in the biological sciences: Pitfalls of simply ‘‘putting notes on the web”. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.