The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to explore how graduate students in education programs at a large, public university in the Southeastern United States perceived and interpreted their informal learning experiences from listening to podcasts. Guided by a conceptual framework comprised of Andragogy, Uses and Gratifications, and King's Reflective Action Research Model, this qualitative investigation, conducted during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, utilized in-depth Zoom interviews with 15 graduate students in education programs. The participants' constructed personal narratives revealed four distinguishable educative benefits of podcast listenership: Educative Engagement and Enhancement, Self-Directed Convenience, Parasocial Perspective Gathering, and Educative Growth Through Challenge and Conflict. In addition, four educative meaning making themes emerged from participants' informal educational experiences listening to podcasts: Educative Conversation, Practical Application Through Contextual Reflection, Educative Exploration and Discovery, and Personalized Curriculum Construction. The findings, which highlight the potential connection of informal and formal learning experiences through podcast listenership, are discussed in relation to the relevant literature. Recommendations for practice and future research are provided.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Higher Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Heller, Michael, "Podcasts as Informal Learning Tools: Graduate Students' Experiences With Podcasts as Self-Directed Learning" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 362.
Restricted to the UCF community until December 2023; it will then be open access.