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Friday, June 24 • 09:00 - 09:50
CON10.03 - The Pedagogy of Audio: Making Radio with Undergraduates

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Radio wasn’t dead, it was just sleeping. The wake-up call came from the internet. Ubiquitous, inexpensive audio production tools coupled with widely available digital distribution channels through a variety internet services or community partners have made radio an accessible platform for learning.

Creating radio (both terrestrial radio and podcasting are “radio”) draws together a number of academic skills critical to student success: research, writing, presentation skills, team work, collaboration, and community engagement to highlight the most obvious.

A podcast or a live radio assignment can function in the same manner as the research essay does now. And it does so in a way that engages the student in a critical learning experience and excites them by challenging them with something new. Radio as an assignment reinforces new skills and extends existing skills in a new context.

Understanding the value of radio begins with appreciating the importance of listening (not just hearing). Creators of radio (i.e. both students and faculty) need to learn what makes good radio. An exercise in critical listening will identify key elements in good radio and engage participants in a discussion of how these can be applied to course objectives.

Making radio is highly collaborative. Not only do students typically have to work in teams bringing together different skills and experiences, they also often have to engage with others in the radio field. Involving community radio stations is a wonderful opportunity. Many such stations are located on campus, have production studios, technical support, and often provide basic radio training.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of using radio as a new learning tool in your courses is to position yourself as a co-learner not an expert. This certainly was, and continues to be, my experience and it has amplified the faculty-student relationships that emerged.

avatar for Michael Ridley

Michael Ridley

Librarian and Instructor, University of Guelph
Michael Ridley is a librarian and an instructor in the First Year Seminar program at the University of Guelph where he teaches a variety of interdisciplinary courses. Ridley holds degrees from Guelph (B.A.), UNB (M.A.), and Toronto (M.L.S. and M.Ed.). He blogs at www.MichaelRidle... Read More →

Friday June 24, 2016 09:00 - 09:50 EDT