• Users Online: 453
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 183-188

The effects of video podcast on learning among midwifery students: A randomized controlled trial

1 Medical Education Research Center, Education Development Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
2 Department of Midwifery, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
3 Department of Community Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

Date of Web Publication14-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Morvarid Ghasab Shirazi
Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nms.nms_96_18

Rights and Permissions

Background: Although some studies examined the challenges of using podcasts, there is limited information about the effects of video podcasting on learning outcomes. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of video podcasting and lecture on learning among midwifery students and to assess their satisfaction with podcasting. Methods: This was a randomized controlled crossover trial. Five-semester baccalaureate midwifery students of a class were randomized into two seventeen-person groups to receive education about gynecological diseases in two sessions. In the first session, students in Group A received educational materials through lecture, while their counterparts in Group B received the same materials through video podcasting. In the second session, held 1 week after the first session, students in Group A received educational materials through video podcasting, while their counterparts in Group B received the same materials through lecture. Students' learning and satisfaction were measured via multiple choice questions and a satisfaction questionnaire, respectively. The paired- and the independent-sample t-tests were used for within- and between-group comparisons, respectively. Results: Both lecture and video podcasting significantly increased the mean score of students' knowledge. However, between-group difference respecting the posttest mean score of knowledge was not statistically significant (15.3 ± 2.3 vs. 14.5 ± 2.7; P = 0.35). Students were satisfied with video podcasting though they believed that it cannot completely replace traditional lecture. Conclusion: Video podcasting has the same effects as lecture on learning outcomes among midwifery students. It can be used as a complement to lecture.

Keywords: Midwifery students, Podcast, Teaching methods

How to cite this article:
Firoozehchian F, Shirazi MG, Atrkarroushan Z. The effects of video podcast on learning among midwifery students: A randomized controlled trial. Nurs Midwifery Stud 2019;8:183-8

How to cite this URL:
Firoozehchian F, Shirazi MG, Atrkarroushan Z. The effects of video podcast on learning among midwifery students: A randomized controlled trial. Nurs Midwifery Stud [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Aug 10];8:183-8. Available from: https://www.nmsjournal.com/text.asp?2019/8/4/183/269099

  Introduction Top

Innovation in new teaching methods and improvements in the existing methods are among the most important goals of educational centers.[1] Lecture is the most commonly used teaching method. In this method, all learners are taught under the same conditions irrespective of their individual differences.[2] Despite the persistence of the lecture method, developments in technology have provided better opportunities for teaching.[3]

Podcasting is among the new technologies for learning promotion. It refers to video or audio files that can be downloaded from the internet and used via portable media players.[4] Video podcasts contain educational materials for students [5] to manage and promote their learning.[6],[7]

Podcasting offers better opportunities for learning. It improves learning flexibility, increases access to educational materials and learning opportunities, and enriches learning experiences.[8] Podcasting helps teachers create a dynamic learning environment through increasing students' interaction with educational materials and thereby enhancing their motivation for learning.[9] It also facilitates teacher–student interactions during the process of learning.[10]

Despite the popularity and the increasing use of podcasting in medical education,[11],[12],[13] particularly in undergraduate education,[14],[12],[13] there are limited data about its effectiveness. Students in some studies also considered it as effective as traditional teaching methods and only a complement not a substitute for live lectures.[15],[16] Moreover, some studies reported technical problems in using podcasts, students' unfamiliarity with using them for learning,[17] and their lengthy and costly use.[18] Some studies also warned against using podcasts due to the lack of credible evidence regarding their effectiveness.[19],[20] Due to the lack of evidence of the effectiveness of podcasting, further studies are yet needed to evaluate its effects on learning.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of video podcasting and lecture on learning among midwifery students and their satisfaction with podcasting.

  Methods Top

Design and participants

This randomized controlled crossover trial was conducted from December 2017 to January 2018. Study participants were 36 fifth-semester midwifery students of a single class in Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran. Inclusion criteria were agreement for participation and lack of previous knowledge about the study subject matter (determined through a test). Exclusion criteria included more than one absence from educational sessions or failure to participate in either pre- or post-test of each session. Eligibility assessment and posttest data collection were performed by a research assistant who was unaware of the study groups.

Participants were recruited through convenience sampling, in which an invitation E-mail was sent to all 36 students, and those who accepted to participate in the study were recruited. Two students were not willing to participate and hence were excluded. These two students received educational materials through the lecture and PowerPoint presentation methods. The remaining 34 students were randomly assigned to Groups A (even numbers) and B (odd numbers) based on their student number. Each group contained seventeen participants [Figure 1].
Figure 1: The flow of participants in the study

Click here to view


Participants were provided with educational materials regarding gynecological disorders, namely intraepithelial cervical diseases in the first session and benign breast diseases in the second session. In the first session, participants in Group A received educational materials about intraepithelial cervical diseases through traditional lecture and PowerPoint presentation, while those in Group B received educational materials from the same instructor via video podcasting. In the second session, held 1 week after the first session, students in Group A received educational materials about benign breast diseases through video podcasting, while their counterparts in Group B received the same materials via the lecture method. Educational materials for both groups were the same in duration (about 75 min) and content and were developed using the most recent midwifery textbook, articles, and images. The instructor in both groups was a senior faculty member of Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran, with a history of teaching gynecology courses. She was not a member of the research team.

In the lecture method, the instructor provided educational materials in face-to-face sessions using PowerPoint slides. In the video podcast method, the same slides and lectures were used to create video podcasts which were individually used by students. To create video podcasts, PowerPoint slides and the lectures were imported into the Articulate Storyline software (v. 2.1212.1412), and the output was taken to the Sharable Object Content Reference Model (SCORM™). Video podcasts were available online for download on the website of Rasht faculty of nursing and midwifery. All students had free access to the related podcasts and could use them on personal computers in the computer room of the faculty using earphones and Windows Media Player. They could pause and rewind podcasts during the class.


In each session, participants in both groups answered questionnaires with multiple choice questions both before and after the provision of educational materials. Questionnaires included questions on intraepithelial cervical diseases (twenty questions) and benign breast diseases (twenty questions). Pretests were performed immediately before giving the lectures or providing the podcasts. The validity of the questionnaires was assessed by several experts in medical education. Test–retest stability assessment on the data collected from twenty students also revealed a Kuder–Richardson coefficient of 0.75. Participants also completed a satisfaction questionnaire with fourteen items on satisfaction with podcasting responded on a five-point Likert-type scale. The average time for completing each questionnaire was 15 min. Participants' demographic characteristics (age and study duration in university) were also assessed at the beginning of the study.

Ethical considerations

The Ethics Committee of Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran, approved this study (code: IR. Guilan.REC.1394.48). All the students were informed about the study aims, the voluntary nature of their participation, and the confidentiality of their personal data. Informed consent was obtained from all participants and the study registered in Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT20190804044437N1).

Data analysis

Data analysis was done via the SPSS software(v. 16.0) at a significance level of <0.05. The data were double-checked for errors in data entry. The normality of the data was tested through the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. As the main variables showed normal distribution, the paired-sample t-test was used to compare pre- and post-test scores in each group, and the independent-sample t-test was used to compare groups respecting pre- and post-test scores.

  Results Top

On average, participants aged 20.7 ± 1.30 years (in the range of 19–25). All students were Iranian and had passed two academic years at university. No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups regarding participants' demographic characteristics.

The results of the paired-sample t-test showed that after each session, the posttest mean scores of students' knowledge in both groups were significantly greater than their corresponding pretest values [Table 1]. Furthermore, after the first session, between-group comparisons via the independent-sample t-test revealed no significant difference between the lecture and the podcast methods regarding the posttest mean score of knowledge (15.3 ± 2.3 vs. 14.5 ± 2.7; P = 0.35). However, after the second session, students' knowledge in podcast group was significantly greater than the lecture group [15.0 ± 2.6 vs. 12.8 ± 2.7; P < 0.0001; [Table 1].
Table 1: Within-group comparisons respecting the mean score of students' knowledgea

Click here to view

Most participants were satisfied with video podcasting [Table 2]. Accordingly, 85% of them believed that video podcasting promotes their concentration on learning, 100% of them agreed that the pause and the rewind options of video podcasting were attractive, and 97.1% of them believed that video podcasting was useful for reviewing lessons before exams. Moreover, 73.5% of the students noted that video podcasting cannot completely replace traditional lecture, and 91.2% of them considered that along with lecture, video podcasting can be a complementary method for teaching.
Table 2: Student satisfaction with video podcastinga

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

Results illustrated that both video podcasting and lecture had significant effects on learning. Although there was no significant difference observed between the two groups regarding the effects of these two methods, at the second session, students' knowledge in podcast group was significantly greater than the lecture group. It seems that despite the flexible learning opportunities provided by podcasting, at the first using of the podcast, the students were novice in using it and could not benefit it suitably. The better results of the podcast method at the second session might be attributed to the inevitable contacts of the students in the two groups and some information exchange about the podcast method. Two earlier studies also reported no significant difference between the effects of lecture and video podcasting among medical students [14] and nursing students.[15] Another study on midwifery students in Iran found web-based teaching as effective as lecture in improving students' knowledge.[16] Contrarily, three studies showed that video podcasting was significantly more effective than lecture in improving learning outcomes.[8],[21],[22] The conflict between the studies might be attributable to different factors such as the students' ability to work with podcasts, the length of the studies, and even to the lecturers' presentation skills.

Assessment of students' opinions in the present study also highlighted that they were satisfied with video podcasting and considered it as an attractive teaching method due to its easy applicability, accessibility, and flexibility. Several earlier studies also reported the same findings.[6],[23],[24] A review study also reported the acceptability of video podcasting among medical students due to their greater control over their learning through video podcasting.[25] However, a study found that students had lower satisfaction with video podcasting compared with lecture.[14] Students in another study also preferred traditional teaching over web-based teaching. That study attributed such preference to factors such as students' personal learning styles, previous experiences, and unfamiliarity with new teaching technologies.[17]

Our participants considered video podcasting as a complement to lecture rather than a substitute for it. Previous studies also reported the same finding.[14],[26] Moreover, our participants noted that inability to interact with instructor was a weakness of video podcasting. Similarly, a former study reported that students disliked podcasting in learning because it did not allow them to ask their questions from their instructors.[27] A recent study has also concluded that in lecture, as a face-to-face education method, teacher–learner interaction is stronger and learners have the opportunity to ask their questions and broaden their understanding of the provided educational materials [28] which consequently satisfied them of the lecture method. Moreover, our findings showed that students used video podcasts to review lessons. This is in line with the findings of a former study which reported that students used podcasts to get ready for examinations.[4]

Although podcasts are widely used in medical education, only a few studies have assessed its effects among medical students in Iran. A former study also reported the lack of firm evidence regarding the effectiveness of video podcasting.[19] Such lack of evidence makes it difficult to set benchmarks for change.

The randomized controlled crossover design of the present study allowed us to make sure that the groups received the same content. Moreover, we attempted to enhance the rigor of the study through assessing student satisfaction with video podcasting. Yet, the study had some limitations. For instance, the length of the intervention and the number of educational sessions for using each method were short, and the students in the two groups were perhaps in contact and disseminated some information about the teaching methods they have experienced. Therefore, replicating the study with more sessions of each teaching methods and preventing the contact between the groups is suggested. Moreover, students' opinions about podcasts were assessed using quantitative methods while qualitative methods could provide more in-depth information. More rigorous studies can provide firmer evidence regarding the effects of video podcasting on learning outcomes.

  Conclusion Top

This study shows that video podcasting has the same effects as traditional lecture on learning among midwifery students. Yet, video podcasting provides students with easier access to educational materials, helps them have greater control over their learning, and gives them the opportunity to review educational materials for several times. Thus, video podcasting can be considered as a complement to traditional teaching methods. Further studies are needed to produce firmer evidence regarding the effects of video podcasting on learning outcomes.


We would like to gratefully thank the midwifery students who participated in the study as well as the librarians of Guilan University of Medical Sciences for their invaluable support for this study.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by Guilan University of Medical Sciences (grant number: 94031801).

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kermaniyan F, Mehdizadeh M, Iravani S, Moghadam NM, Shayan S. Comparing lecture and problem-based learning methods in teaching limb anatomy to first year medical students. Iran J Med Educ 2008;7:379-88.  Back to cited text no. 1
Pishgahi A, Dareshiri S, Owlia MB, Halvani A, Roghani HS, Aghili H, et al. The effect of active learning method on stability of information and satisfaction of physiopathology students in Yazd University of medical sciences. Iran J Med Educ 2010;9:208-15.  Back to cited text no. 2
Adib-Hajbaghery M, Sharifi N. Effect of simulation training on the development of nurses and nursing students' critical thinking: A systematic literature review. Nurse Educ Today 2017;50:17-24.  Back to cited text no. 3
Copley J. Audio and video podcasts of lectures for campus based students: Production and evaluation of student use. Innovat Educ Teach Int 2007;44:387-99.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kurien G, Biron VL, Campbell C, Cote DW, Ansari K. Can a multisensory teaching approach impart the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence in final year medical students to manage epistaxis? J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2013;42:51.  Back to cited text no. 5
McGarr O. A review of podcasting in higher education: Its influence on the traditional lecture. Aust J Educ Technol 2009; 25:309-21.  Back to cited text no. 6
Heilesen SB. What is the academic efficacy of podcasting? Comput Educ 2010;55:1063-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
Alikhan A, Kaur RR, Feldman SR. Podcasting in dermatology education. J Dermatol Treat 2010;21:73-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
Skiba DJ. The 2005 word of the year: Podcast. Nurs Educ Perspect 2006;27:54-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
Childers RE, Dattalo M, Christmas C. Podcast pearls in residency training. Ann Internal Med 2014;160:70-1.  Back to cited text no. 10
Long SR, Edwards PB. Podcasting: Making waves in millennial education. J Nurses Staff Dev 2010;26:96-101.  Back to cited text no. 11
Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan TM, Lin M. Free open access meducation (FOAM): The rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002-2013). Emerg Med J 2014;31:e76-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
Flanagan B, Calandra B. Podcasting in the classroom. Learn Lead Technol 2005;33:20-3.  Back to cited text no. 13
Schreiber BE, Fukuta J, Gordon F. Live lecture versus video podcast in undergraduate medical education: A randomised controlled trial. BMC Med Educ 2010;10:68.  Back to cited text no. 14
Vogt M, Schaffner B, Ribar A, Chavez R. The impact of podcasting on the learning and satisfaction of undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Educ Pract 2010;10:38-42.  Back to cited text no. 15
Rabiepoor SK, Sadeghi E. Comparison the effect of web-based education and traditional education on midwifery students about survey of fetus health. Educ Strat Med Sci 2016;9:8-15.  Back to cited text no. 16
Bell T, Cockburn A, Wingkvist A, Green R. Podcasts as a Supplement in Tertiary Education: An Experiment with Two Computer Science Courses. MoLTA; 2007. Available from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= [Last accessed on 2019 Aug18].  Back to cited text no. 17
Van Zanten R, Somogyi S, Curro G. Purpose and preference in educational podcasting. Br J Educ Technol 2012;43:130-8.  Back to cited text no. 18
Cho D, Cosimini M, Espinoza J. Podcasting in medical education: A review of the literature. Korean J Med Educ 2017;29:229-39.  Back to cited text no. 19
Zanussi L, Paget M, Tworek J, McLaughlin K. Podcasting in medical education: Can we turn this toy into an effective learning tool? Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2012;17:597-600.  Back to cited text no. 20
Griffin DK, Mitchell D, Thompson SJ. Podcasting by synchronising PowerPoint and voice: What are the pedagogical benefits? Comput Educa 2009;53:532-9.  Back to cited text no. 21
Bhatti I, Jones K, Richardson L, Foreman D, Lund J, Tierney G, et al. E-learning vs lecture: Which is the best approach to surgical teaching? Colorectal Dis 2011;13:459-62.  Back to cited text no. 22
Evans C. The effectiveness of m-learning in the form of podcast revision lectures in higher education. Comput Educ 2008;50:491-8.  Back to cited text no. 23
Jahandideh Y, Balasi LR, Saberi BV, Dadgaran I. Designing and assessing fixed dental prostheses 2 multimedia-based education in dentistry students. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2016;30:455.  Back to cited text no. 24
Kay RH. Exploring the use of video podcasts in education: A comprehensive review of the literature. Comput Hum Behav 2012;28:820-31.  Back to cited text no. 25
Parson V, Reddy P, Wood J, Senior C. Educating an iPod generation: Undergraduate attitudes, experiences and understanding of vodcast and podcast use. Learn Media Technol 2009;34:215-28.  Back to cited text no. 26
Shetty N, Bin Reza F, Tomkinson P. Infectious diseases teaching for medical students: Do podcasts work? Med Teach 2011;33:593.  Back to cited text no. 27
Adib-Hajbaghery M, Karimi Z. Comparing the effects of face-to-face and video-based education on inhaler use: A randomized, two-group pretest/posttest study. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2018;23:352-7.  Back to cited text no. 28


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


    Similar in PUBMED
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded360    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal