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Abstract

The application of podcasting for educational purposes is growing fast in universities. There are several benefits of this asynchronous, direct communication and interaction between teacher and student. Nonetheless, the benefits, the pedagogical value of podcasting the traditional lecture format, have come into question. Furthermore, issues have been raised regarding lengthy and costly download times, and the fact that students need to make time to listen to them. For these reasons, using short 3–5-minute podcasts that summarise the lecture have been suggested. This paper explores how students interact with different types of podcasts. The study compares download and course evaluation data of a series of short-summary podcasts with full-lecture podcasts produced for the same university course. The findings show that students value full-lecture podcasts as highly as the short-summary podcasts, despite the fact that full-lecture podcasts are downloaded to a markedly lesser degree. The cause of this anomaly appears to lie in the different purposes that dictate podcast use. The paper concludes by noting that both full-lecture and short-summary podcasts serve as useful tools for student learning in university contexts.