Pod Tours: A pilot study that explores audio assisted excursions as a module for an online design unit

Dr Cherry Barlowe, Dr Simon Jackson, Dr Nanette Carter
2014 Conference

This paper provides observations made after two years of facilitating Pod Tours (audio excursions) as an experiential module in an online unit. The focus is on the pedagogical approaches and impact on student learning between a traditional tutor-led excursion and an unsupervised Pod-Tour (audio) excursion. The paper offers insight into the value of excursions to promote ‘active’ learning and to engage higher order thinking skills and demonstrates how excursions operate effectively in an online learning environment. The paper begins by providing an overview of the unit and introduces the relevance of the excursion module. A discussion explores the values and pitfalls of both a tutor-led excursion and an unsupervised Pod-Tour. Next survey results demonstrate the impact of a Pod-Tour on student learning and curriculum content engagement. Finally, insights are offered into the possibility of Pod-tours as an effective teaching and learning model regardless of discipline.

Download Full text PDF (142.55 KB)

About the author

Dr Cherry Barlowe is a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and academic. She is a director of Linear Design Studio in Perth WA and works as a tutor for Swinburne University, School of Design. Her research interests include the advancement of knowledge on creative practice and exploring contemporary approaches to teaching and learning including flexible modes of delivery. In addition, Cherry investigates how Illustration and Graphic design expertise can make a significant contribution to the natural sciences and other disciplines outside of the more traditional applications.

Dr Simon Jackson teaches history of design at the School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology. Simon completed his PhD researching Australian design history at Monash University in 1999. His recent articles appear in Design Issues, Journal of Design History, Journal of Design Research and Scandinavian Journal of Design History.

Dr Nanette Carter lectures in design history and theory in the School of Design, FHAD, Swinburne University. Her research interests are Australian design and modernism; prefabrication for housing provision; and design for the retail and hospitality industries (department stores, boutiques, cafés and restaurants), including product development, branding and store placement. Her PhD thesis, due for submission in 2014, is on DIY culture in post-World War II Australia.

Nanette has experience in curating exhibitions on design and is enthusiastic about sharing the history of design with popular audiences.