What is a Podcast?

At it simplest, a podcast can be defined as “downloadable asynchronous audio”, this practical definition highlights key components of the medium (Middleton 2010) and provides us with a starting point for examining the key benefits of using podcasting for edcuators and students.

Benefits for students

  • Downloadable – Podcasts are portable, students can listen where and how they like.
  • Asynchronous – Listen on demand, pause, rewind and review.

Research around the effect of podcasting on the learning experience finds several examples of their positive impact on students by filling an ‘important needs gap by allowing learners to continue the learning activities when it might not normally be possible’ (Evans 2008).

A case study by The University of Leicester highlights that ‘Podcasts increased learner engagement with the guidance and support that was already available … They enabled tutors to convey key, clear and detailed messages in an effective and motivating manner, which was highly appreciated by students … The evidence showed that podcasting added a human dimension to the learning experience. Compared with reading course materials, articles and textbooks, listening to the tutors’ voices added a personal touch and livened up the learning experience.’ (JISC, University of Leicester).

This is also in line with anecdotal evidence we have seen at the University of Derby on the use of podcasts to aid with assessment in Marketing programmes.

Benefits for educators

  • Quick to create
  • Easily available technology
  • Have a ‘voice’ outside of the classroom
  • Longevity – reuse year on year
  • Consistency – key messages can be delivered to multiple groups

“podcasts increased the feeling of proximity between students and teachers, because students had the feeling of a permanent presence of their teachers. As a consequence, the podcasts enhanced students’ motivation.” (Koppelman 2013)

a combination of different communication media can be beneficial for the learning process of many students” (Fernandez et al, 2009).”

Making an educational Podcast

The steps to creating a Podcast can be broken into 3 distinct steps:

  • Planning
  • Creating
  • Delivery
What you’ll need – the basics
  • Something to talk about – Assessment guidance, weekly update, industry news etc. 
  • Microphone – This could be webcam mic or mobile device mic
  • Recording device – Usually a laptop or mobile device
  • Quiet space – This helps to deliver a clear message
  • A way to deliver and share it to your audience


In the planning stage you will need to think about the intended purpose of the podcast; the audience, the content, and how you will present yourself.

We have created a number of ‘recipes’ that set out a basic idea and structure for creating a podcast. These templates aren’t set in stone and are designed as as starting point to be adapted to fit your needs. Click on the images to enlarge.

Tips on content
  • Have a basic plan with a beginning, middle and end
  • Keep it short; 5-10mins
  • Be your authentic self – it’s better received 
  • If you’re stuck, get inspiration from other podcasts or our podcast recipes above
  • Don’t over think it, you’ll know your subject knowledge 
  • The more directly connected your content is to assessments, the more likely it is to be used
  • Try not to start the recording with “ok…” or “so…” but instead with addressing your audience, “hello everyone…”
Tips for presenting yourself
  • Be yourself
  • Be mindful of your audience – they know you!
  • Be enthusiastic about your subject
  • Use conversational language
  • Be succinct and to the point


There are a number of different tools you could use to create a Podcast, any simple audio recorder on either a computer or mobile device will work. Choose the one that you feel most comfortable with to start with.

The university has supported tools that are also ideal for recording audio. You can use Panopto; the lecture recording system, or WeVideo; an online video and audio editor.

This info-graphic is a basic workflow for WeVideo
Creation tips
  • Stay close to the mic when recording
  • Avoid touching the mic
  • Give yourself a couple of seconds after pressing record and stopping at the end to make sure you wont cut off any audio when recording
  • Record in a smaller room if possible as this will have less echo
  • Make a couple of short practice recordings to get comfortable with the equipment, and test sound quality
  • Have fun with it and experiment


Once your podcast is created, a way to deliver it to your audience is needed. They may wish to listen to the podcast in a number of ways, therefore a file or stream which can work on any device should be created.

Most audio programs will give you the ability to export your audio as either a .mp3 or .mp4 file. Either of these should work on most devices. These files have benefits as they are small and universal whilst retaining quality. Avoid using .wmv files if you can.

As an academic the podcast could be uploaded to Course Resources, students will then be able to stream them directly from Course Resources or download to their own device.

The recording could also be uploaded to Panopto and shared as you would a normal lecture recording. You may want to give the audience the ability to download the recording to increase portability and options.

Further help

If you would like any help and advice on creating a Podcast please contact the TEL team at tel@derby.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.



Planning your video

This is the first stage when creating a video. At this stage you can note down all your ideas on how you want to tell your story. You should be able to tell your story in a few words; if you can't you need to rethink or simplify it.

Once you have your idea set you can begin writing a script and designing a storyboard for your video.

Before you begin filming make sure you have all your actors or interviewees and locations sorted. Don't assume you can film in a location, ask permission first. It's also a good idea to check out the location for lighting and sound issues that may arise during the shoot.

Make sure you also get all the actors/interviewees release forms signed before you begin shooting, these make sure you get all the permissions for filming and won't hold your film up once you've completed.

How to plan before filming

Video is a powerful medium but can be labour intensive to produce. Planning is about making the task manageable and having a clear rationale for your video is essential to do this. Planning helps avoid a “needle in a haystack” scenario, where you are left trying to extract meaning from raw footage in the editing process. If this happens it is often quicker to go back and re-shoot the video you meant to make the first time around.

Considerations when planning your video are:

  • The context of the finished product.
  • The expectations of the audience.
  • A location that supports the subject matter of the video.
  • How long will the video be?
  • What copyright rules do you have to follow?

The Brief

Writing a brief at the beginning of the project will help you clarify the aims of the video and help you think about organising things like the style, locations and equipment you will need.

Download a template production brief.


The Script

Write your script first and then develop the storyboard from this.

A script, even if it's just a rough outline, will help you during the actual shoot. Making a script before you start shooting is essential to make sure that you don't waste time during the recording. Even if the actual words change during the shoot, having everything planned out before will ensure that you get the content needed in the right place at the right time, making editing a lot easier.

Download an example script.

Remember when writing your script, you need to plan the completed video to have a start, middle and end. Ask yourself:

  • What is the first thing you want your audiences to see or know?
  • What information do they need to know by the middle of the video?
  • What do you want your audience to go away with at the end? This could be a call to action or further research, etc.

The Storyboard

Storyboards are a great way of beginning to visualise your script and idea. They can include a lot of information on a large professional production, but you can make this process more simplified for you video.

Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Use one panel for each scene. This will help reduce the time it will take, by concentrating the planning of the video to a strict number of panels.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re not a good artist. Most of the time stick men can give as much information. The use of arrows is great to show actor/interviewee/object direction or any possible camera movement.
  • Write any useful information about the scene under each panel. Including script, ideas, direction, etc. This is useful if you need to pass this over to someone else, they can follow the storyboard and create your concept.

Download a storyboard template.




It's useful to go and see any locations you choose to use; visit them to check for any permissions needed. Make a note of any lighting or sound issues that might cause problems when filming and see if you can fix them. Make sure you can get the camera angles and shots needed in the chosen space.


Copyright free material

Using other people's work in your film

When creating a video, you may want to add some extra footage or images into your final piece that you were unable to shoot yourself. However, you have got to be aware of who owns the materials and you'll need to check the copyright on them before you use them. There are some places where you can access copyright free material, please see the links below for a few examples.


Pexel - Free stock photos, royalty free images & videos shared by creators.

Max Pixel - Stock images.

Unsplash - Stock images and pictures.


Video Pexel - free stock videos shared by the Pexels community.

Free Sources for Stock Video - 14 Fantastically Free Sources For Stock Video Footage [Updated 2019]


YouTube Audio Library - Free Music

Sound Effects - BBC Sound Effects.

Bensound - Royalty Free Music.

AudioJungle - Royalty free music and audio tracks from $1.

Creative Commons

The Creative Commons are an organisation that allows people to add copyright-licences to their work. Allowing the creators to clearly define what which rights they reserve and which they waive for the benefit of the people who are wanting to use it in their work.

For more information:

Creative Commons