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Using Podcasts to Enhance Learning

Technology is becoming an integral part of classroom learning. For the past decade, podcasts specifically have been growing in popularity as a way to enhance students’ learning. It’s not hard to understand why: podcast’s allow students to learn on-the-go and can provide content that’s complementary to traditional classroom learning.

There is, however, some skepticism about how effective the method of podcasting is as a form of effective learning, that it may be too passive. After all, how many of us have really been able to retain more than a fun fact or two from the podcast we listened to earlier in the week? Even so, let’s face it: nowadays, if you’re not listening to podcasts, you probably know more than a few people that do.

This podcast is taking a different approach. It isn’t created just for students: it’s student created. Every episode, a new set of young evaluation students will tackle fundamental topics of program evaluation that they themselves have just learned. We believe that podcasting in this way will not only enhance the students’ learning, but will further the field of program evaluation with the fresh perspectives of these young evaluators.

Sure, maybe you’re still feeling apprehensive. But the concept of “learning by teaching” has been around for years. It’s the method that’s brought us teaching assistants, peer tutors, and countless presentations to the class during our schooling. With the medium of a podcast, students get some of the pressure of public speaking taken off of them. Instead they’re allowed to explore ways to explain a topic that makes sense to their peers and others.

We’re excited to use this podcast to grow the conversation surrounding evaluation and invite all evaluators, old and new, to tune in.

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Our Approach to Evaluation

If you’re new to program evaluation, maybe it’s better to start with what program evaluation is. According to the American Evaluation Association, evaluation “involves assessing the strengths and weak