Podcasting at Nottingham

This page describes how you can record and 'podcast' your lectures using University resources. The emphasis is on audio recordings - if you want to shoot and deploy video, see the video.nottingham page. You can use the video.nottingham server for audio podcasts if you wish, and this is certainly the better option if you want to create a series of podcasts which your students can subscribe to with their media players.


University staff can now 'podcast' lectures, seminars, talks, or indeed anything that involves them speaking. Although the term 'podcast' is derived from Apple's famous iPod (see the Wikipedia podcast entry), it's come to mean the combination of:

That is, an audio clip is placed online, then it's availability is broadcast to interested recipients. The practical steps involved are:

These steps are explored in more detail below.


Although you can use any digital voice recorder to record audio, quality can be iffy with the small microphones in such devices so for better quality you can use a university 'podcasting kit', which comprises a digital audio recorder, lapel microphone, headphones, 'how to' guide, and USB lead, all in a large shiny metallic briefcase. Use the link below to find out how to obtain and use such kits.

Using UoN podcasting kits


Once you've recorded your audio and transferred it to your PC (or USB stick), you'll need to edit it to at least remove any 'messy bits' at the start and end, and if you're being nice to your students to break your lecture up into manageable chunks. Use the link below to view information on audio editors, and editing tips and tricks:

Editing your podcasts


Once your edited MP3 files are ready, you need to upload them to a university 'streaming server' (?), which allows the audio clips to be served whilst they're downloading, rather than the student having to wait for the full file to download. Currently, there are two ways of getting your audio online: using the podcast uploader in WebCT, or the video.nottingham service.

Podcast uploader in WebCT

As a staff member, you should be part of the course entitled "Information Services - WebCT for University of Nottingham Staff". Go into this course, then click on the "Podcasting uploader" link which will launch a popup window with simple tool which allows you to upload MP3 files from your local machine to the 'Wirksworth' streaming server.

Tip 1: avoid using the + and & characters in the names of files to go online, as these have special meanings in URLs and could have unpredictable results if uploaded. So avoid filenames like this&that.mp3 or that+and+the+other.mp3.

Tip 2: the podcast uploader has a filesize limit of 50Mb, so you'll need to split up any full lectures that go over that limit.

NB: The podcast uploader has a limited life, and will be retired from service when WebCT is discontinued in September 2012. Uploaded audio files will continue to be available on the podcast server after that date.

Podcast uploading to video.nottingham

The video.nottingham service can handle audio as well as video podcasts, and is ideal if you want to create a true podcast which students can subscribe to in media players and be alerted when new 'episodes' are published. It also allows you to make your podcasts available to the Whole Wide World via the University's iTunesU and YouTube EDU channels. There is no file size limit to uploads. See the video.nottingham page for details of how to use this very handy service.


Once you've uploaded your files to a university streaming server, you can publicise their web links to your students. The method will vary upon the service you've uploaded to. Click the links below for infomation:

Disseminating podcasts on the Wirksworth server

Disseminating podcasts on the video.nottingham server


University podcasting service

The following help files are hosted on the elearning@nottingham.ac.uk (el@n) website:

There's also a short but growing page on kits on the Learning Technology blog.


University podcasts

The University of Nottingham makes many audio and video podcasts publicly available as part of its Open Nottingham OER initiative. See UoN Connect for podcast feeds and highlights, and the UoN Podcasts page for a browsable and searchable directory.


Two podcasting workshops were held for School colleagues in 2009 by Jo Lymn and Dianne Bowskill, who use podcasting as a central part of their Non-Medical Prescribing LBR course. The link below is to an edited version of Jo Lymn's presentation to the workshop held in the Lincoln centre:

Workshop 24/2/09, Lincoln (MS Powerpoint, 350kb)

The links below are to recordings made by Jo: