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Breaking with tradition

Profiles in Success: University of Adelaide

Breaking with tradition

Adelaide, South Australia: At The University of Adelaide's Centre for Learning and Professional Development, there is strong evidence of a dramatic change underway to the traditional approach to pedagogy. Interestingly, it's a change that first came to light at an education conference held in the US State of Florida; and it's a change that emphasises the almost critical role that podcasting is and will continue to play in the future of education.

Breaking with tradition

For anyone who has attended a conference - regardless of its subject or industry focus - it will hardly come as a surprise that there is just as much, if not more, knowledge among the audience than with the speakers. It's for that reason that The University of Adelaide's Allan Carrington embarked on an exercise that has underpinned what is set to be a major change in knowledge sharing.

In 2005, Carrington was invited by the convenors of the EDUCAUSE conference in Florida to create audio podcasts of post-presentation interviews with conference presenters. "My initial thought was that it would be little more than duplicating the material already presented," Carrington says. "What happened, though, was that the presenters were more relaxed and starting talking about things they hadn't discussed in the presentation. In most cases it was that relaxation that resulted in my ability to capture the real passion about what they do and why they do it."

More importantly, Carrington took his podcasting efforts beyond his initial brief, recording often impromptu interviews with conference attendees. "The wealth of community wisdom and its practical application that you can find at any conference is staggering," he says. "And talking to people who are just wandering around after a presentation can easily give you a whole new perspective on a range of subjects.

With podcasting, you have the opportunity to share that perspective and take conference knowledge sharing well beyond the typical presenter-attendee paradigm.

— Allan Carrington, University of Adelaide

It was at that conference that Carrington met Randy Meredith, a likeminded professor from Spring Arbor University in Michigan. "Randy was already conducting a series of trials using podcasting in education," Carrington says. "And since that meeting, we've been in constant contact, working to promote good pedagogy in podcasting."

Back in Australia, Carrington took the same podcasting principal to ASCILITE 2006(ii), Australia's largest established regional conference focusing on education and technology. "We had precisely the same results as those we had in the US," he says. "People we spoke to relaxed and opened up, delivering an entirely new and passionate view on subjects they were involved in."

The genesis and the evolution


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