iTunesU; Do students like it?

The list of colleges and Universities signing up to iTunesU continues to grow. Since I last wrote about it – “Another Success Story (UCL)” – the likes of the OU (for those reading outside of the UK, this is The Open University) have a reported World Record as the first to reach 20 million downloads (source: Bee-It) since starting to use iTunesU in the Summer of 2008!

As reported in the Bee-It post, the OU says that;

“mobile phones are increasingly being used to download their tracks. Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, says that the growth of the iTunesU concept reflects the changing ways that people are learning.”

Martin Bean continues by saying;

“The way people want to learn is changing. Many now actively seek out content they are interested in and which they can watch, read or listen to when it suits them. New channels are helping people to fit learning in with their lifestyles, and the OU has always kept pace with the changing world of technology.”

ReadWriteWeb report that iTunesU is “better than going to class“, but Jim Groom doesn’t think it’s going to make any difference. Jim has some good points (especially the one about “everyone is doing it”) but surely a bigger picture is that it raises the profile of the Institution and (hopefully) the quality and perception of the materials provided to enrolled students?

Personally, I would love to be involved in generating and managing an iTunesU account for the Business School; we have lectures recorded using Echo360, which are automatically created with associated MP3 and M4B iTunes Audiobook format, as well as other material recorded straight to camera tape or memory.

This is the kind of material that reflects the quality of the teaching staff in the Business School. Regarding the question of whether students like it or not, how about student work being (with appropriate permission sought and obtained) loaded that reflects the quality of student in the Business School? I haven’t seen any of that in iTunesU yet (or did I miss it?).

So do students like it? It’s difficult for me to tell as we at Bournemouth are not using it. From reading around the Internet it seems that, on the whole, yes they are, just look at the numbers above. I would like to hear about whether your students (or you, if you’re a student) like or dislike iTunesU, but please say why?

So, it’s worked for the OU … have you had any similar interest or success with your use of iTunesU, or has your Institution opted to not invest the time and effort? Please leave your comments below, or anyone of the ‘related posts’ links also shown below.

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