Podcasts: Transforming Faculty Professional Development One Listener at a Time (During Their Commute)

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

What do you do when faculty are not available to participate in on-campus professional development? Podcasts are well-positioned as an accessible medium for disseminating information and anytime/anywhere learning. This presentation offers an innovative model for addressing some of the challenges of delivering professional development by creating a podcast series.


Experienced instructional designer / technologist who can confidently collaborate with diverse faculty and instructional support team members to promote exceptional learning outcomes in the higher education environment; expert trainer/faculty professional development specialist with years of demonstrated success in implementing adult learning approaches. Trained and certified in application of the Quality Matters rubric for instructional design and peer evaluation of online courses. Adjunct instructor skilled in theoretical and real-world applications of technology into diverse teaching and learning environments.

Additional Authors

Steven has over 20 years of higher education and distance learning experience and is the District Director of the Maricopa Center for Learning and Innovation at the Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona.
Celia Coochwytewa has a vast background and experience in instructional design, consulting, developing, and delivering innovative and proficient technology-enhanced products and experiences in an education environment. At Arizona State University's, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, she is the Manager of Instructional Design and Learning Experience Innovation, where she works closely with faculty to design and develop engaging, interactive, and effective learning experiences, accessible to students. Additionally, Celia leads the development and coordination of faculty consulting needs around instructional technology and course design, in collaboration with program and team stakeholders. She contributes to multiple University-wide workgroups to discuss and provide guidance on instructional design and technology matters. She also provides insight both as a participant and facilitator on the podcast, Instruction by Design. Before joining the University, she spent several years as a K12 classroom teacher, providing general education, language arts, media literacy, and gifted outreach programming instruction. Her focus has remained in curriculum and instruction, specifically with technology integration. She believes that technology is a tool for learning, prepares students for their future, and should not be used for 'technology sake' but in a conscious manner.
Aaron is an Instructional Designer at Arizona State University and brings a diverse background in education. He studied foreign languages in Japan before devoting another six years in East Asia as an English language instructor within both online and traditional classrooms. Upon returning to the U.S. he took up graduate studies in learning sciences and distance education at the University of New Mexico. Now, he enjoys consulting on innovative course design solutions and creating instructional multimedia learning interventions at ASU's Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Extended Abstract


At this education session, an instructional design team at a large state university will present a new model for addressing some of the challenges of accessibility, versatility, scalability, efficiency, and timeliness of faculty professional development through a strategically designed podcast series.

If, as Marshall McLuhan famously proclaimed, the medium is the message, then what does it mean when our faculty who teach online are regularly required to trek into a campus conference room sometime between the magic business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in order to engage in faculty development?

While academic subject matter, pedagogy, and technology topics have evolved over time, the process of developing and disseminating faculty development programs and events has remained relatively static. Faculty members are often expected to attend workshops, presentations, seminars, and training events in-person, at inflexibly scheduled times. This may put a disproportionate burden on faculty who teach online and rarely if ever come to campus. While there has been some innovation in recent years with transforming faculty development materials into online modules or videos, these can be costly and time-consuming to produce. Off-the-shelf commercial packages may be prohibitively expensive and lack important contextual information.

Can the development specialists, instructional designers, and other experts engaged in providing this important service envision a new way to reach and support not just online faculty, but any faculty?

Podcasts are well-positioned as an accessible medium for disseminating information and provide a flexible platform for anytime/anywhere professional development. Over the last ten years, podcasting as a medium has been quietly maturing and steadily increasing in listenership. Recent research indicates that a significant number of Americans are familiar with and indeed frequent consumers of podcasts. The cost of high-quality audio recording equipment and editing software is reasonably low. Published podcasts can be accessed from virtually any type of computer or mobile device. The podcast audience can actively engage and discuss episode contents with peers and topical experts via social media and/or institutional online forums.

During this presentation, participants will learn about the comprehensive podcast planning, production, dissemination, and evaluation model in use by this instructional design team.  Selected brief excerpts of popular, published episodes will be shared. A preliminary report on consumption patterns and faculty reactions will be reported.


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Reflect on the potential benefits of implementing podcasts for faculty professional development.
  • Describe the planning, production, and distribution cycle for a faculty professional development podcast series.

Audience Engagement & Materials:

Participants will be invited to engage in interactive question and answer moments throughout the presentation, and will also be provided with a brainstorming/planning worksheet related to developing a podcast series. Additional handouts will include selected presentation slides, model diagrams, and production equipment spec sheets.