Podcasting Opportunities: Digital Media Creation


3/20/19  |  By: Jarod Davis

Digital Media Creation or COM 203 is a required course that Communication Majors take. This course primarily aims to give students the opportunity to develop skills and techniques with various technologies in the communication field. This can include things such as video editing and graphic design. However, this is the first year for the course to introduce podcasting to its curriculum. For those who don’t know, a podcast is commonly an audio show online that people listen to. It has evolved over the years to include video, but the main goal of these episodic shows is to have discussions that can be listened to anywhere through a digital device.

Professor Sarah Zimmer is taking the lead on this new curriculum so we decided to sit down with her and learn what some of her goals are for this section of the class.

“We’re looking specifically at what people are using in the industry for communication and we want to basically outfit [students] with those tools and resources,” Zimmer said.

From our conversation, a big goal of this class is to prepare students for real world situations. There are a lot of opportunities this class offers as it gives the students the opportunity to be in front of a microphone, or even prepare an audio project.

“If you are in any sort of public relation job you will likely be conducting interviews or having someone interview you. Part of this was getting the students comfortable speaking in front of a microphone. Part of it is technical. If you do have a job where you want to have a podcast part of a social media program or an advertising aspect of your job, I want you to successfully produce one,” Zimmer said.

Another aspect of the podcast project involved creating album cover art for each of the student’s podcasts. Not only was there an audio recording and editing, but even graphic design.

We also had the opportunity to speak to several of the students that are currently in the class. One student, Meghan Schrader, shares how the experience she gained gave her confidence and technical skills.

“It gave me a lot of confidence in speaking and presenting things. I learned how to use Audacity and learned how to use most of the recording equipment,” Meghan said.

She also gained experience conducting interviews as well as creating scripts. She is already applying these new skills to other projects she’s working on.

“For my Writing for the Media class, I’m going to use graphic design to advertise the school play. Those skills are already going into effect. [These new skills] also transition well into video editing, since it’s similar to sound editing,” said Meghan.

Another student, James Purkey, gained a “production feeling” when developing his podcast.

“You don’t necessarily get the idea of production and how it actually flows and operates until you do something that involves around the media itself. It was really eye opening and beneficial to put together a project where you’re going to have multiple stages of production,” James said.

James feels he benefited from getting the experience of going through the process for creating a podcast. He is excited to get involved in other podcasts, or create another one himself.

Lastly, student Alex Denton felt like he gained a lot as an individual from working on the podcast,

“Personally, for me, it helps me organize my thoughts and my speech in a presentation. It also helps me structure thoughts in a meaningful way,” Alex said.

The Podcasting section of the class is currently over, with the class moving onto filming and video editing, but it’s great to know that this new and exciting part of the course has already had positive impacts on the students involved. According to Professor Zimmer, there are more opportunities coming for students to develop podcasts. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any rising opportunities to join or create a podcast in the future.