Podcasting with Social Work Students – #BPD2015 Conference

BPD Conference Book PodcastWorkshop

I am presenting at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Director’s Annual 2015 Conference today (3/5/15) about podcasting with social work students, focusing on practical implications for course-based assignments.  In this workshop, I will describe how I developed a podcast assignment for BSW students and will offer tips on how other educators can incorporate a similar assignment into their courses.  The learning objectives for this session include:

1.Understanding how podcasting can be incorporated into assignments for social work courses at the BSW-level;

2. Describing how social work educators can assess attainment of competency among BSW students using a social media assignment; and

3. Appreciating the role of professional collaboration in the development, implementation and assessment using podcasting.

This presentation is based on a series of blog posts I wrote last year about podcasting in social work education:

1. Podcasting for Social Work Students, Part 1 – Describing the Assignment (1/16/14)

2. Podcasting for Social Work Students, Part 2 – Why use podcasting in the classroom (1/31/14)

3. Podcasting for Social Work Students, Part 3 – Advice for designing the assignment from Jonathan Singer (2/14/14)

Here is a link to the Prezi that I will show during the presentation (http://tiny.cc/PodcastPrezi_BPD2015).

Here is my proposal for the presentation:

A podcast is an audio or video file made available on the Internet to download on computer or mobile device for listening, and usually is part of series of recordings based on a theme.  Podcasts are easy to create and do not require a lot of technical skills. This makes podcasting a good tool to incorporate into assignments for social work students and for faculty who do not have a lot of technology experience. This workshop will cover how podcasting can be used in the classroom to supplement course content or as a stand-alone assignment. Participants will learn how the presenter developed, implemented and assessed a podcast assignment for BSW students.

Podcasting is well-established in the social work profession with the success of podcast series such as the inSocialWork Podcast Series or The Social Work Podcast (University of Buffalo School of Social Work, n.d.;Singer, n.d.).  Both series use the medium to disseminate knowledge on the latest research findings or best practices, which can be accessed by practitioners, students, educator and even clients, free of charge.  However, it is unclear if or how social work educators are using podcasting technology as an educational tool.  In a recent survey of BSW educators about their use of technology, Boquoi et al. (2013) none of the participants reported using podcasting technology.  Educators from other disciplines report podcasting can be a valuable tool in delivering lectures and improving student engagement in online courses (Bolliger et al., 2010; Vogt et al., 2010).

Social work students can benefit from podcasting is several ways.  First, podcasts are a great way to disseminate knowledge (EPAS 2.1.1 & 2.1.3).  Students can easily create a podcast instead of an oral presentation, and then share it with the instructor or entire class.  Alternatively, students could share a podcast with a larger and more public audience such as agency personnel or the general public. Second, podcasting provides a great venue for students to practice social work skills such as interviewing, engaging a client system and critical thinking (EPAS 2.1.3 & 2.1.10).  Depending on the assignment, students can record role-playing activities and then upload as a podcast to course management system to be shared with the class for peer feedback.  Students can also record informational interviews with community practitioners, sharing the interview with the class as an edited podcast. Finally, podcasting promotes the development of social and digital media skills among social work students (EPAS 2.1.9).  Social and digital media have the potential to shape how future social work professionals will obtain and assess information for evidence-based practice and advocacy.

Social work educators who attend this session can learn how to incorporate podcasting in their own classrooms, either as supplemental material or as an assignment. Participants will learn about the development, implementation and assessment of a podcast assignment used with BSW students for over three years.  The presenter will share insights about lessons learned with student podcasting and the benefits of collaborating with colleagues on technology-based assignments.


Bolliger, D. U., Supanakorn, S., & Boggs, C. (2010). Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the online learning environment. Computers & Education, 55(2), 714–722.

Buquoi, B., McClure, C., Kotrlik, J. W., Machtmes, K., & Bunch, J. C. (2013). A National Research Survey of Technology Use in the BSW Teaching and Learning Process. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 33(4-5), 481–495.

Council on Social Work Education. (2008).   Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Washington, DC: Author.

Singer, J. (n.d.) The Social Work Podcast.  Retrieved from: http://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com/.

University of Buffalo School of Social Work (n.d.) inSocialWork. Retrieved from:      http://www.socialwork.buffalo.edu/podcast/.

Vogt, M., Schaffner, B., Ribar, A., & Chavez, R. (2010). The impact of podcasting on the learning and satisfaction of undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, 10(1), 38–42.

Author: Laurel Hitchcock

Share This Post On