I have enjoyed reading about experiments that others are doing with podcasting related to tutoring. This is what I am doing at my school. Most all the small group study leaders enroll in a class each fall I teach that is part of their professional development for their work. Part of the class assignment is participating in a short podcast interview of their experiences as a small group study leader. The purpose of the podcast is for the students to share and encourage one another with their role as study group leader. At our campus, we call them PAL facilitators. PAL stands for peer assisted learning, a common term used in countries outside the U.S.

The 10 minute interview consists of four questions: (a) short background about them, (b) the class they support and why it is historically difficult for many students, (c) two favorite small group activities they use to engage the students with the course material and structure the small group learning activities, and (d) what they gained from the experience personally and professionally. So far, I have posted up half a dozen episodes. I have another dozen to post up over the next couple of months. I would like to expand the interviews to student leaders at other colleges. Send me a direct email at [log in to unmask] if you think some of your study group leaders might be interested in a short telephone interview.

The PAL group leaders listen to the podcasts either by subscribing to the series through iTunes. The podcast is called "PALgroups" and the shortcut to subscribe to it is You need to have already installed the free iTunes software on the computer, The other way to listen to the podcasts is to download each individually from a blog page. It is located at There are also links on the right hand side of that web site that link to other resources related to small group study groups. 

For the past four years, the students and I in an introductory global history class create a weekly audio podcast as a study review for the exams. It is called "Then and Now". We are up to episode 129. The blog page for the podcast is The shortcut to subscribe to that podcast is 

My students have been the key for producing these podcasts. They taught me everything I know about this activity. I encourage you to involve your students as well. There are a number of short video tutorials available from the Apple Corporation, other individuals, and me to demonstrate how to become familiar and subscribe to podcasts. I collected these together on my web site. Check out the links at  There are some other resources for podcasting at the web site as well. The easiest thing to do is just ask a student to show you how. They will love the opportunity to share with you and your coolness factor will double. :-)

Let us keep up the conversation. Social media is an exciting area to explore.

Take care,

David Arendale, Associate Professor
University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development, Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, 225 Burton Hall, 178 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455  (W) 612-625-2928; (C) 612-812-0032; [log in to unmask]  (personal web site) (internet bookmarks) 

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