The initial idea of an iTunes U site is to provide students access to course material, generally in the form of podcast lectures, not as an excuse for skipping class, but for the possibility of reviewing difficult material.
Were you ever present at a lecture or discussion that was so riveting that you couldn’t take notes, listen, and participate at the same time? Which did you choose? Limiting your choice to taking notes is certainly limiting and has less of an impact on learning than the other two choices. What if you could skip the notetaking and focus on listening and participating. that would be great, but what would you do later without copious notes? That’s where the ability to replay such an experience comes in.
Campus Technology reports on a study from Coppin State University that “indicate[s] that class capture technology that allows students to view lectures online after the fact can improve course retention rates and grades.” Isn’t that exactly what we would like to happen? Coppin State used Tegrity Campus software to capture lectures, and that software presents what can look more like a webinar, with both video lecture and notes. iTunes U podcasts might not be as complex, but the idea of making a lecture or discussion available for review, can be just as valuable.
I’m excited about the possibilities. You?
P.S While you’re checking out higher ed iTunes sites, go over to YouTube and check out UC Berkeley’s YouTube site for a similar way to reach students and the world at large.