Documentation:Student Toolkit/Podcasting

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How does UBC support podcasting by students?

Podcasts are audio or video files released periodically that anybody can listen to online or download onto their portable media player. With the decreasing cost of recording devices and release of easy to use media editing tools, producing podcasts are easier than ever. Many universities create podcasts of prominent guest speakers, while classes at UBC use them as assignments to hone students' storytelling skills. UBC hosts an Itunes channel for student's podcasts while also providing instructions for students just becoming familiar with podcasting.

Creating your own podcast is simple. All you need is a microphone, an internet connection, and an idea.

You can create a podcast on any topic you wish, whether it be for a course, project, or just as a medium to discuss a concept, you'll need an online hosting service to upload and publish your podcast.

If you don't have your own equipment you can borrow some from the Chapman Learning Commons.

Here are some examples of podcast hosting services:

Need Inspiration?


This is an example of expert use of video to deliver a message. More about the video and its creator, Justin Cone editor-in-chief at Motionographer. Check it out for more inspiration. To see a sample of our own student/staff/faculty created video at UBC, have a look at UBC's YouTube Channel

What do I need to know?

Students are likely to be successful if they play to their strengths and keep it simple. Some additional considerations:

  1. Plan you video assignment as you would a writing assignment.
  2. Start early and get familiar with the technical resources you will be using.
  3. Play to your strengths and (if possible) form a group for your assignment that includes people with diverse skill sets.

5 questions to ask yourself before getting started

  • What's my purpose—why am I making this podcast?
  • Who is it for?
  • Is the recording quality (production value) important or is the purpose to share an idea or concept?
  • Do I have permission from the subject or representative of the site I am recording?
  • Do I have all of the resources in place or know where to find them?

We will be focusing on audio podcasts because they are easier to make than video podcasts. You only need two things to start recording: a microphone and audio recording software. Once you have both, you can start recording!

If you'd like to include visuals with your presentation, you can go to Screen Capture Basics


There are a number of free applications you can use to record audio. The following software either comes pre-installed on your operating system, while others are free downloads:



Cross-Platform (Windows/Mac)


Most computers have built-in microphones that you can use to record audio. In order to check, please do the following:

Look for either one of these symbols on your computer to find the microphone


  • Go to Control Panel and click Sound
  • Once a new window opens, go to the Recording Tab.
  • By default, you will see the name of the device and sound level meter. If you make any sound near the computer and the bars go up, it means that it is working.
  • If it says No audio devices are installed then you will have to get an external microphone.
  • In some cases, the device might be disabled. Right-click within the window and choose Show Disabled Devices.
  • A list of devices will appear and enable the one you want to use.


  • Open System Preferences and click Sound
  • Click on the Input tab.
  • You will see a list of devices that you can use and choose the one you want.
  • If it is empty then you will need to get an external microphone.


When you're done recording, you can publish your podcasts on: courses

Up and Running with Audacity

Audacity of a free, open-source audio recording and editing program available on Macs, Windows, and Linux. In this course, you learn how to start recording, mixing, and editing your own podcasts using Audacity.

Garageband Essential Training

Garageband is audio recording and editing software available on Macs and iOS devices. In this course, you will focus on the basic functions and features of Garageband to create your own podcasts.

How tos

Duncan Mchugh's slides on Audio and Podcasting

Audacity (Mac, PC) - Colin Gray from the UK has a great playlist to help you learn how to use Audacity help.
GarageBand - (Mac) Tutorial
Podcasts in Education, wiki developed for the course ETEC 510: Design of Technology-Supported Learning Environments
Podcasts in Plain English
Production Basics for Media Makers

For Students

Student Podcasting Toolkit

Music and Images: Copyright

Do you need to find copyright safe sound or images for your project? The following resources can help:

Image Sources: UBC's Copyright resource provides an excellent list of various "copyright safe" image databases and also includes some discipline specific ones as well.
Creative Commons Guide: UBC's Copyright Guide provides lists of databases for free and "copyright safe" sounds, music and video for your digital media projects. It also helps you understand Creative Commons licenses and how and why you may want to apply one to your work.
Public domain resources: this page provides an overview of what public domain is, how material in the public domain can be used, and much more, including quick tips to check if something is or is not considered public domain in Canada, as well as links to public domain sources.

Students and Copyright

Why should I care about copyright?: this student-centered guide, put together by the UBC Learning Commons team, answers questions on the subject of copyright and addresses a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding copyright.

Open Educational Resources