Tools and Work Aids Overview

Podcast

Several of the lecture halls at the University of Bern are equipped with podcast infrastructure. This infrastructure and the SWITCHcast software make it easy to record, process and publish lectures, conference talks and other events. The words spoken and the presentation are recorded as standard, but not the person speaking. The recording is automatically converted into various formats for streaming (Flash), desktop and mobile (mp4). These files can be uploaded to a website or provided to students via an ILIAS course.

In order to record a lecture, the auditorium must be equipped with the necessary infrastructure. If you would like to record your lecture during the next semester, you should already be thinking about booking a room in CTS and filing a relevant request. Alternatively, some form of mobile podcast equipment can also be borrowed for the purpose of recording one-off podcasts.

In three steps to your recording

  • Before the course, open a podcast channel in ILIAS – the so-called SWITCHcast channel. This channel is where recordings are uploaded.
  • Start the recording in the auditorium itself. The podcasting infrastructure can be found in the media tower.
  • A few hours after the course, the recording will be ready for you to perform any subsequent editing. You can cut it, supplement it with further informations, give names to sections or even choose a title image. The recording is only published once this subsequent editing is complete.

Detailed instructions on the individual steps can be found here: Podcasting via ILIAS (instructions as a pdf)

Costs

The fees for the use of the SWITCHcast service are currently paid by the university. The university reserves the right to invoice the costs to the institutions after giving prior notice.

Please note the Betriebskonzept Podcasting (german language) of the podcasting service in this regard.

You can find proper equipped rooms with allready installed podcast infrastructure at following locations. All rooms are missing a camera (exception: Room 001, VonRoll building). A video camera for taping the lecturer can be reserved via the equipment hire.

Equipped rooms with installed podcast infrastructure.

 

Expansion of equipped rooms

If there isn‘t a room well equipped near you, please inform the didactical support (podcast@id.unibe.ch, 031 631 30 23). The infrastructure is broadened continuously. 

Main building (Hochschulstr. 4) 001110 (Audimax)201120, 210 (Aula)220
Von Roll area (Fabrikstr. 6 / 8) 001, 003, 004, 102, B101, B102
UniS (Schanzeneckstr. 1) A003A -122B -102
Unitobler (Lerchenweg 36) F 021
ExWi (Sidlerstr. 5) Hörsaal A006
Chemistry (Freiestr. 3) U113
Geography (Hallerstr. 12) 001
Bühlplatz area (Baltzerstr. 1) 248 (Haller-Auditorium)
Engehalde area (Engehaldenstr. 8) 001
Vetsuisse Faculty (Länggassstr. 122 / Bremgartenstr. 109) 303 (Lg 122), NLG 001 (Lg 124c), 020 (Bg 109)

In addition to equipped rooms, the IT Services Office provides a range of material which can be borrowed. The equipment is primarily intended for mobile podcasts. It can be borrowed free of charge, although not for a long period of time.

We provide two sets of mobile equipment. The equipment contains all the hardware and software required to record podcasts or screencasts using the SWITCHcast software in a room already fitted with a microphone. If the room does not have a microphone, you can also borrow a microphone from us.

Additionally, the IT Services Offices offers various material (e.g. camera, microphone, wires and cables etc.). This material can be borrowed for a limited time. A full list can be found here.

For consultation and borrowing please inform yourself at the technical support center (podcast@id.unibe.ch, 031 631 31 91).

More and more students of the University of Bern are expressing the wish to have their lectures recorded. In its position paper on Good Teaching, the SUB (Student Representation) also advocates increased availability of podcast recordings. So, what are the advantages of creating and offering podcasts in university teaching? Below, you find a list with eight sound arguments.

1. Podcasts enable effective follow-up and self-directed learning

The learners can listen selectively to those parts of an event that they did not understand for the first time. In this way, podcasts enable self-directed learning at students' own pace. Owing to the rewind and pause functions, students have time to reflect, research, and take notes. Thus, they are able to process the content much more thoroughly than in the classroom lecture. This particularly applies to all students whose native language is not German.

2. Podcasts improve learning success if they are used in a sensible way and as supplements to lecture attendance

Many students value the opportunity to prepare for their exams with the help of podcasts. However, as the first surveys show, this method alone does not lead to improved learning success: only if the podcasts are used as supplements—and not as substitutes—to lecture attendance, an improvement of the examination performance appears to be taking place (see Spaeth-Hilbert, Seufert & Wesner, 2013; study at the University of Manchester, available here from minute 5:30). Therefore, it seems that only the combination of lecture attendance and the use of podcasts for post-session and exam preparation can lead to higher learning success. This fact should be pointed out to the students at the beginning of their lectures.

3. Podcasts fill the gap when either the lecturers or the students are absent

If the lecturer is absent, no lectures are cancelled, as the content of podcasts from previous semesters can still be accessed. Alternatively, these podcasts can also be pre-produced. In this way, the planned content is being processed despite the “missed lecture”, and the learning objectives are achieved. By linking these podcasts to tasks, self-tests, or exercises (e.g. on ILIAS), students are encouraged to become involved in effective learning activities.

Podcasts enable students to take part in lectures even when they cannot attend them due to family or professional obligations, illness, military service, or lack of space in the lecture halls.

4. Owing to the integration in ILIAS, podcasts hardly require any additional effort and can be edited before publication

If you would like to record your event, you need to apply for an equipped lecture hall before the beginning of the semester via the room reservation tool on KSL and create a podcast channel on ILIAS—a so-called SWITCHcast Channel. In the lecture hall, you then select your SWITCHcast channel at the podcast station and start recording with a push of a button. After the lecture, you can edit the recording (e.g. cut out breaks) and publish it in your ILIAS course. The final product is therefore always under your control.

5. Podcasts enable interactive event formats in the following semester

Podcasts that have been recorded once and are still up-to-date in terms of content can be used effectively in later semesters. This can be done, for example, by instructing students to use these podcasts to prepare for the attendance phase of the course. As the knowledge transfer now takes place in self-study, theory may be deepened and put into practice in the classroom course. Further questions can be discussed in plenary sessions. Excercises with immediate feedback or cases may be dealt with in smaller groups. What used to happen at home (and often) in isolated individual work is now taking place through social exchange with fellow students and in contact with the lecturers. Detailed information about the teaching scenario "Inverted Classroom" can be found here.

6. Podcasts enable lecturers to enrich and supplement face-to-face events

Contents that cannot be discussed in depth in the classroom may be made available in the form of podcasts. These podcasts can be used, for instance, to ensure that all students have the same level of knowledge before the event begins.

7. Podcasts facilitate the didactic and content-related development of one's teaching activities

Podcasts display and reflect a teaching situation and the lecturer's teaching  methods. Consequently, self-evaluation and feedback measures can take place, possibly accompanied by didactic counselling. The team of the Didactics & Teaching Development Department will be pleased to support you.

8. Podcasts allow more flexible study models and the integration of people studying at a distance

Owing to the podcasts, knowledge transfer can take place regardless of time and place. As a result, students can decide for themselves when and where they want to listen to a lecture. In addition, it is now possible to involve students living far away in events.

Support

The iLUB-Team supports you in setting up and conducting lecture recordings.