podcast picture of microphonePodcasts are increasingly being used for health professionals’ education. They are utilized by individual practitioners, teaching institutions, and many major journals are adding podcasts to their offerings. To date, there are no evidence-based guidelines for the development of educational podcasts.

Below are some snippets regarding the evidence base for podcasts from the recent literature.

“This study suggests that podcasts and blog posts are useful for extracurricular knowledge acquisition by undergraduate medical students with no significant difference between the two modalities. The usage conditions for each type of media differ.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29552428

“Participants who completed the assessments demonstrated an effect of learning. The top three activities participants were engaged in while listening to the podcasts were driving (46%), completing chores (26%), and exercising (23%).”

How about speeding up the playback on the podcast to 1.5x?  Does it make a difference? “These findings suggest that, unlike previously published studies that showed subjective improvement in performance with sped-up video-recorded lectures compared to normal speed, objective performance may be worse.”

“Podcasts are an effective method for medical residents to learn from pharmacy students and may also improve pharmacy students’ confidence in their abilities.”

“There is limited evidence showing the efficacy of podcasts as teaching tools, or regarding best practices in making podcasts. More rigorous studies evaluating efficacy, changes in behavior, and changes in patient outcomes need to be performed in order to prove podcasts‘ value and to justify production costs.”