Perceptions and usage of library instructional podcasts by staff and students at Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
As podcasting is such a new phenomenon, little is known about its usage and perceived benefits especially in New Zealand. In addition to gathering statistics on the demographics of who uses library instructional podcasts and the technologies used, this research also offers an opportunity to fill a gap in the knowledge on the usage and perceptions of podcasting and its potential as a medium for library instruction in the future. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory provided the framework for this research. Six sample podcasts were recorded and made available via the UCOL - Universal College of Learning - web site in MP3 format. The target population for this research was staff and students of UCOL. A web based survey instrument was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data and there were 86 complete responses to the survey. Participants were self selected on a non-random basis, therefore it was not possible to stratify the sample set or generalise results. Analysis of the results showed there were differences between the groups surveyed in perceptions and use of the library instructional podcasts. The majority of respondents thought the podcasts were "very good" with 71.1% in favour of them. The most helpful podcast topics were identified and suggestions were made as to other topics the library could make podcasts in. Device ownership was investigated along with technologies required for downloading and listening to the podcasts. The preferred time and place to listen to the podcasts was ascertained and advantages and disadvantages were determined. Responses were received from a broad range of subject areas from within UCOL. The majority of respondents were found to be female and were of NZ European/Pakeha ethnicity. Comments were received as to the quality of the podcasts with suggestions for improvements for future podcasts. The conclusion reached was that podcasting for library instruction will benefit UCOL as an institution, has potential as an alternative communication medium and therefore should be pursued.