The Teacher Librarianship Podcast Project – Reflection on Scholarly Activity

What? (Description)

The Teacher Librarian (TL) Podcast project was initiated by myself as Course Director, after teaching several subjects in the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course.

I developed a series of ten podcasts designed to offer professional insights and practical information regarding the theoretical content being presented in the modules of the first subject of the MEd.(TeachLib) course, which is ETL401 Introduction to Teacher Librarianship. The finished product is a Thinkspace website that provides access to all ten podcasts, as well as supporting information, a transcript and related resources.

In creating these podcasts, I contacted nine practicing leading TLs and one leading academic in this space and interviewed them with a specific content focus, asking them to explain what the theoretical concept looked like in practice. I applied for and received funds to pay for professional support to edit and produce the podcasts. This person was chosen because they are also a TL and therefore they were able to ensure meaning was maintained through the production process.

So what? (Reflection)

This was an important project because it responded to feedback received from students that they would like more clear connections between the theory presented in the modules and industry practice. The project responds to expectations that the course has clear and strong links to the profession and to practice. It also expanded the range of resources provided to the students by incorporating multimedia in the form of podcasts. As the students in this course are all qualified teachers, and the majority currently working in schools, providing content in the podcast format allows them to engage in learning away from their desk. It meets expectations of students to have access to a rich range of resources in a variety of formats.

Through this project I expanded my project management skills and I learnt about the process of creating podcasts. I learned that innovative learning design can be time consuming but rewarding.

These podcasts will impact my teaching and the teaching of others as I have shared the process of developing the podcasts with my colleagues in the School of Information and Communication Studies, as well as more widely through my participation alongside the TL team in the 2022 CSUEdX:
We plan to expand the project by recording podcast series for other subjects in the course and will use the learnings from this series to ensure the process is further improved.

The podcast series will impact student learning by providing resources in a different and more accessible format. It will also assist them in the achievment of the subject’s learning outcomes as it illustrates very clearly the links between the theory they are learning and how this is enacted in practice. By listening to interviews with experienced TLs working in a wide variety of contexts, they will learn more about the profession and have the opportunity to understand the many different ways the role of TL can be enacted depending upon the school and community context.

Now what? (Implementation)

As a result of engaging with this scholarship opportunity, I have a new understanding of the value of embedding multimedia and multi-modal resources within course learning materials. I have enhanced my technological skills through my partnership with the TL who worked with me to produce these podcasts, and overcome obstacles with making these podcasts easily available to students. By housing the podcasts on a Thinkspace website I have also modelled to students how they might use this platform as a part of their learning practice. This is particularly relevant to TL students, who are asked during the course to develop various digital artefacts and to build their skills and familiarity with different types of digital and online pedagogies.

Informal evaluation of the sucess of the podcasts will take place during and at the end of this iteration (202330) of ETL401 and feedback regarding how the podcasts and website may be improved will be sought. When podcasts for additional subjects are developed research investigating students’ experiences may be undertaken to further evaluate the value of the time invested in this type of resource development.