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Podcasts Instead of Lectures
A senior professor at Bradford University in the UK has decided to stop holding lectures and product podcasts instead. On an intellectual level, this makes sense, but at an emotional level it may seem strange.

Here's how it works: Dr. Ashraf records his podcasts and makes them available via MP3, phone, or computer. Students can then ask questions via text messages that Dr. Ashraf will answer on his blog. Further, Ashraf will put his calendar online so that students that want or need some personal attention can book an appointment.

Pros (as I see them)

No classes! This takes full advantage of the time-shifted (why the hell did we have to replace 'pre-recorded' with 'time-shifted?') nature of podcasting.

Ability to control delivery speed. I've written before about the advantage of being able to replay sticky points in a lecture, pause it while you do something else, or even speed it up so you can get more into your brain faster.

Cons (as I see them)

Status Quo: People are going to absolutely freak out at this. Many people think that the 200+ students in a university lecture is way too much, but now we're not even going to bother with that. Now we're just going to throw recordings at people. Ugly.

Peer learning: There may be some advantage to sitting with a bunch of people learning the same thing. Sometimes that interaction can be as valuable as the lecture itself.

What do you think?

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