The ‘Great Sussex Podblast’ was an event created and facilitated by Pete Sparkes, George Robinson and Tab Betts from Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) at the University of Sussex. A ‘Podblast’ is our spin on the “book-sprint” format, which traditionally involves a group of people working intensively as a team over a short period of time to create a book; only this time, participants would be tasked with producing a series of podcast episodes instead of book chapters.
The event formed part of the university’s’ Digital Discovery Week; a programme of free sessions designed to the develop the digital skills of staff and students, coordinated by TEL and the Library. The Podblast was pitched to appeal to participants of mixed ability and experience of podcasting. In the space of an afternoon, the TEL facilitators coordinated and trained a group of 13 members of staff and students to plan, present, record, edit and publish a total of 7 podcast episodes to form a series on the theme of digital discovery.
The purpose of the podblast was to unburden the barriers of entry and complexity of podcasting; to demonstrate that it is a format that can be quickly and cheaply made without having to sacrifice quality. It provided opportunity for participants to develop a range of soft and hard skills from communication, team-work and presentation skills, through to practical use of audio recording equipment and editing software.
The format has potential for a range of applications across Higher Education; from a student-centred teaching and learning format, university outreach activities or research dissemination. During this webinar, we will share with you our approach to hosting a ‘Podblast’ and reveal the challenges and successes which we experienced along the way.