I use podcasting in my own courses and have found them to be quite effective in engaging students, including getting them to do the reading. I don't, however, record and post lectures or discussions, since I feel like that would kill the point of coming to class for most students. Anyway, I'm intrigued by this open university idea, which goes back to earlier discussions on academic publishing and open access. This podcasting, to me, seems like just another form of that, albeit one more focused on the teaching than research part of our mission.
So, would anyone be interested in trying something out? I can get the things up on iTunes via the VT site (click on "public access") and I can help give pointers on technology, since I've recorded myself for my own podcasts. In addition, I think I know of a way to gets these mp3/ m4a files to me once you've recorded them. But that can wait for later. These are the ideas I had:
- "Medieval Minute" -- Short, 1-minute bits on some small bit of medievalia. This could be an interesting source (with notes on how to find it), an interesting anecdote, a critical historical moment, etc. This would keep files small, get a lot of people to contribute, and hopefully sustain interest in the series. I can't personally think of anything more engaging than hearing someone speak really passionately about something they care about.
- "Open Course" -- This could be on any number of subjects but would, I'm thinking, generally follow a standard lecture format. This could be a course that we've always wanted to teach but simply can't, given our own academic constraints. Alternately, it could be a general medieval survey, hitting all the high points. Alternately still, it could be more focused ("the crusades," "the Carolingians," "monsters," etc.) it could be something else.
- Other format? The point of all this is collaboration, so I'm open to suggestions.