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E-Learning and Instructional Support

Kresge Library, Room 430
100 Library Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4479
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e-LIS support staff creates podcast

Fri Jun 24, 2022 at 02:05 PM

Kate Huttenlocher, assistant manager of Support Services in e-Learning and Instructional support had a goal to improve her public speaking skills and share her passion for inclusivity and online learning. To help Huttenlocher achieve this, Dan Arnold, manager of Support Services in e-Learning and Instructional Support, suggested they do something unique–create a podcast. From that came Inclusive & Online with Kate and Dan, a podcast they launched in April.

“Dan saw an opportunity for us to take a podcasting course. I think he knew that it was a medium I was interested in. He suggested we take the course and see what ideas came to us. This podcast is an extension of the work that we did in that course. It is also a way for us to provide our community with a resource that is educational and available on-demand,” said Huttenlocher. 

Arnold said as they began exploring the idea of a podcast, they found plenty of other podcasts were filling the categories of teaching and learning in an online environment, so they needed to find their own niche. 

“We decided to focus on inclusivity and the role diversity, equality and inclusion play in the online learning environment. We really wanted to focus on faculty and staff at Oakland University. We want them to have an outlet to hear and experience these issues in a way that isn't as socially awkward as a live setting. Learning is a series of mistakes and reassessing what we think we know. We want to show them that you can start rethinking many of the things you do in the classroom with an inclusive lens, and without compromising learning,” said Arnold. 

Creating Content

“There was a gap in e-LIS around inclusivity. We have so many practice resources when it comes to building and creating online content, and there wasn’t much on-demand about inclusivity. We wanted to find relevant topics that relate to the university’s goals and our passion,” said Arnold. 

Huttenlocher and Arnold tapped into their Oakland University network, identifying the voices of those who had a story of inclusivity and online education and elevated them, through the podcast. Arnold said the subjects are often excited to share their story to help educate the OU community and beyond. 

As they dive deeper into the podcast, their planned content has changed to meet the needs of the community. 

“We are shifting things around as we learn more and come up to the next challenge. We continue pushing to find people to share their stories with us,” said Arnold, adding he and Huttenlocher have many mutual inclusion and diversity interests, which gives them a lot to explore. 

While e-LIS offers live support and training, as well as online help documents, Huttenlocher said the podcast is just another tool for faculty and staff. 

“We have time and location-based training, but there are others who want to do the learning on their own. We had to find a way to get that information out there for faculty and staff to digest. We want to make sure they have the information they want on their own time and terms.”

So far, Inclusive & Online with Kate and Dan has four episodes. They include:

Learning Lessons

While Huttenlocher and Arnold want to educate and inform with their podcast, they are also learning as well. 

“This process has involved learning how to create and script out the podcast and also how to produce it and promote it. It’s not about hitting the record button and being done,” said Arnold. Besides developing the podcast content, Arnold also wrote all the music, including the segway music and introduction music. 

Arnold does most of the editing, which he says can take anywhere from one to three hours. 

Arnold and Huttenlocher aren’t the only ones learning through the process. Kayla Yucha, a junior marketing major, works with Arnold and Huttenlocher as a production assistant. Arnold said being part of the podcast production process is engaging and educational for Yucha as well, supplementing the education she's getting in the classroom. 

“As a marketing major, I have found it very beneficial to learn more about content marketing. I find it helpful to actually be able to be involved in the podcast rather than just learning in a classroom since it gives me the opportunity to be hands-on and to strengthen my skills in content creation and engagement on social media,” said Yucha. 

Planning More Podcasts

“We are a knowledge producing office and not just a service office. We want people from OU to be able to access the content any time and anywhere and learn when they want,” said Arnold. “From RSS.com, we can see where people are listening and we’ve seen places like Brussels, Ottawa, Montreal and not just Michigan. It’s cool seeing that grow and we know it’s not just OU benefiting from this.”

Huttenlocher said she and Arnold have been securing future podcast guests and topics and plan to look at topics such as audio accessibility in the online classroom, legal names versus chosen names and potentially holidays and inclusive language. All of them are designed to provide listeners with awareness and tools in their skill set to address them with their students. 

“We’re really having fun with it. There is a lot of creativity that goes into the podcast and we are really enjoying it,” said Huttenlocher. 

In the future, Huttenlocher hopes to have her own podcast–a narrative, fictionalized podcast dealing with a private investigator. Inclusive & Online with Kate and Dan is providing her with experience she can use to pursue her personal podcast dreams as well. 

For more information on the Inclusive & Online with Kate and Dan podcast, visit the Inclusive & Online with Kate and Dan page on the e-LIS website