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iTunes U Paving the Way for Hybrid Teaching


Delivery of didactic information to students is one of the many changes occurring at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Beginning in 2010, MCW rolled out its private iTunes University (iTunes U) site. This platform allows MCW faculty, staff, and students to access audio and video podcasts. MCW on iTunes U is a site where users can download audio and video to a PC or iPod Touch; it can also be a location for instructors to upload recorded lectures, discussions, videos, or related material to enhance learning and aid in preparation for face-to-face didactic sessions.

What exactly is a podcast? It can be many things. One of the more popular formats is a recording of a PowerPoint presentation with audio explaining the content of the slides. They can provide the best of both worlds, an instructor-led explanation of foundational information on a given topic that gives students the ability to move at their own pace through the information. Podcasts are accessible 24/7, allowing learners to access the materials as their schedule allows and refer back to them as needed throughout their training.

In the past, a learner may have read a few articles prior to and viewed a slide presentation during a lecture, limiting the time available for discussion. With podcasting, one can view material in preparation for the didactic session and have a better understanding of the topic in advance. This allows time spent in didactic sessions to be far more productive than ever before. Face-to-face sessions shift from lectures where experts present information to case-based conversations where learners are expected to apply new knowledge to patient scenarios. Less lecturing and more learning!

Developing and recording information is very easy; many other campuses across the United States have enough information to qualify for public iTunes U sites. MCW’s iTunes U is still private and podcasts are only accessible to the internal network of users via a portal on ANGEL. Once approximately 3,000 podcasts have been recorded, MCW can apply for public site status. Taking the iTunes U site public will allow others to access our materials, with MCW joining the ranks of institutions such as Duke University, UCLA, and the Medical College of Georgia.

Anyone interested in reviewing podcasts via MCW’s iTunes University can log on to ANGEL at and click on the link for iTunes U located on the home page. Your computer must have iTunes loaded for content to be accessible. If you have any questions about iTunes U or are interested in learning more about podcasts in education, please contact Kerrie Quirk at

Article written by Jessica Kaho, Medical Education Assistant, and Kerrie Quirk, Medical Education Coordinator II, Medicine
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 08/19/2011