Podcasts: Building Engagement Outside of the Classroom and Helping Online Students Persist
Online adult learners crave an emotional connection with their university, and students who feel connected to their future alma mater are more likely to persist (Rovai 2002). But their time is limited while juggling course work, family, jobs, and more. The key to engagement outside of courses are activities that require little time or effort. Enter podcasts! Adult learners can listen to podcasts on their commute, while they work out, or any time they have a free ear. Penn State World Campus developed a podcast series, PawCast, to foster that emotional connection with students, and to motivate and inspire them to continue their studies. This monthly series brings Penn State's history, tradition, and culture to our adult learners no matter where they are located. Each episode features a different guest or iconic leader from around the university, highlighting events and traditions that Penn Staters hold dear. We also share important updates, Penn State trivia, and tips for academic success. With more than 5,500 downloads in year one, the podcast series has been a success. In this presentation, we will discuss lessons learned and ways we are improving future podcasts using analytics and feedback directly from students.
Student Communications Specialist, Penn State
Liam Jackson is on the Student Engagement team with Penn State’s online World Campus. His team focuses on community building and co-curricular engagement through websites, social media, videos, podcasts, and more, with the ultimate goal of helping increase retention and academic success.
Academic Support Resource Coordinator, Penn State
Brungard is the Academic Support Resource Coordinator for Penn State World Campus. In this position he works with other student support units around the university to provide the same services to online World Campus Students. Previously, He was the Advising Coordinator for World Campus Advising and still advises a roster of students.