Podcast Recordings & Advice on Self-editing

Podcast technology has greatly enhanced the accessibility of recordings and has made it infinitely easier to copy, store and transmit material recorded in this format.  This is now becoming a popular means of providing access to lectures.  Because this format lends itself to such increased accessibility, there are, subsequently, some concerns that remarks made during the lecture may be taken out of context or that potentially controversial topics may be placed under closer scrutiny, particularly in terms of the ways in which they are communicated.  The most appropriate means of dealing with this would be for lecturers to self-edit the podcasts which they intend to make accessible in order to re-assess the quality and content of that lecture.  Though mostly obvious, and bearing in mind reasonable limits on freedom of expression, the following points may provide some prompts when reviewing content before making it accessible:

You should be wary of including:

  1. any reference to individual members of the class/module group
  2. any unintended reference to members of staff
  3. any comment which could be construed as being racist or sexist
  4. any derogatory comments about identifiable living individuals or groups of individuals
  5. any potentially defamatory comments
  6. any information which might be deemed to be confidential
  7. anything (particularly research) which may be considered to be commercially sensitive

It should also be noted, however, that podcast recordings can also prove of benefit to the lecturer should there be any unfounded accusation relating to any of the above issues, or should there be the need to verify what has been said or its context.

JD/podcast/05_06, rev 09_06