Listening for Impact

Between October 2010 and March 2011, with the support of funding from the JISC's Digitisation and eContent programme, the Listening for Impact project studied user engagement and impact of the University of Oxford's podcasting activities.

In summary, its findings were:

  • Oxford podcasts are popular globally and that their popularity is still growing
  • Oxford podcasts benefit both current students and external learners and teachers
  • The University's participation in Apple’s iTunes U programme brings large quantities of traffic, and that analysis of that traffic is made significantly harder by its size
  • 15% of accesses to Oxford podcasts come directly from mobile devices
  • Promotion via Twitter is non-­ÔÇÉtrivial

The project also made some changes to the way that podcasts are presented outside the Apple iTunes U interface:

  • Tools within the Virtual Learning Environment were adapted to  better integrate podcasts
  • The Oxford podcasts web portal was altered to  incorporate better search  and individual landing pages for each podcast series

Finally  the project made recommendations for policy and process changes to better monitor impact in future:

  • In future, hosting should be centralised, in part to better monitor access and impact-­measuring
  • Regular, standardised sampling of student opinion should be undertaken
  • Engagement with contributors should include incorporate more activities designed to aid promotion and monitor impact

All project reports are available at:

Final Case Study: Listening for Impact2.46 MB
Impact Analysis: Listening for Impact2.03 MB