All media can be used to help people learn. But before jumping straight into video production, consider audio.
An audio podcast is an excellent way to create on-the-go learning.
What is on-the-go learning?
It is a specific kind of instructional design that applies learning and communication principles to teach and train with mobile devices.
Jason E. Norris
Why a podcast?
All forms of media have particular strengths and limitations.
- Video can be very engaging, and people are already using places like YouTube to find quick instructions for various tasks. But to get something out of the video requires the learner to stare at a screen.
- Images, from memes to infographics, can deliver quick reminders that can be shared on social media. But that also requires staring at a screen and potentially doom scrolling through social media posts.
- Text is compelling if the materials are written well, but those require more staring at a screen or carrying around books and guides.
- Audio does not require screen time and can fit into busy schedules.
Podcasts, well-designed and focused, let people listen and learn anytime, anywhere—while commuting, exercising, grocery shopping, walking the dog, mowing the yard, and cleaning the house.
Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind for training podcasts. These are not hard and fast rules but should be the standard for using audio for learning on the go.
For training podcasts, keep them between five and fifteen minutes. Shorter episodes will fit more readily into learners’ busy schedules.
Focus on one topic
This is not the news. Pick one thing. Spend all your time talking about that one thing. Explain what it is. Explain why it is important. Give multiple examples of that one thing in action.
Time is precious. Don’t waste that time with too much chit-chat. Don’t talk about the weather or the ballgame. Instead, stay focused on what the learner needs to learn.
Don’t be boring
Let your personality shine through! Use analogies and metaphors to explain the topic of the episode.
Many podcasts are ongoing, and popular ones can last through hundreds of episodes. However, on-the-go learning podcasts are different.
A never-ending podcast can appear overwhelming, but a limited series gives them an achievable goal they can reach.