Study: iTunes U Better than Real College

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A small study indicates that students who listened to podcasts remembered more than those who attended lectures.

The study, as reported in New Scientist, tested 64 students on information retention.

To see how much students can learn from podcast lectures alone, students were given a single lecture on visual perception from an intro psychology course.

Half sat through a live lecture and were given printouts of the slides used.  The other 32 downloaded a podcast that included audio from the same lecture synchronized with video of the slides. These students also received a printed handout of the material.


A week later, all were tested on the material. Students who downloaded the lecture at least passed the test, with C averages (71 out of 100), while the students who sat through the lecture averaged Ds (62). The grade gap widened (77 out of 100) if the students who listened to podcasts took notes and lessened if they did not.

Podcasted lectures offer students the chance to replay difficult parts of a lecture and therefore take better notes, says Dani McKinney, a psychologist at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who led the study.

“It isn’t so much that you have a podcast, it’s what you do with it,” she says.

A strong argument for taking advantage of iTunes U.

Via MacDaily News

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