ARCHIVED: Completed project: iTunes U pilot

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Primary UITS contact: Chris Payne

Completed: September 4, 2007

Description: Eighteen faculty and instructional consultants from four campus centers for teaching and learning used our current tools to develop and publish podcasts in iTunes U.


  • Faculty and student response to iTunes U

    Faculty produced podcasts for multiple course sites as part of the project; these are available at They demonstrate the various approaches and ideas faculty were working with during the pilot. Faculty feedback includes the following:

    • Faculty completed a survey at the end of the project, and the overall faculty response was very positive. All of them felt that this could really enhance their teaching and learning.
    • Faculty expressed more interest among in using podcasts as supplemental materials rather than in simply recording lectures.
    • Only one of the participants was teaching this summer, but she asked her students to complete a survey asking them how podcasting benefited their learning. Her podcasts were recorded lectures only, but the feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive. Many of them stated that it really helped them master the material to be able to listen to the lectures again after first hearing them in class.
  • Implementation issues

    Feedback gathered from participating faculty gave us the information we needed to refine the iTunes U implementation before moving it into full production. The following issues were identified:

    • We identified a number of small technical problems as part of the pilot which we resolved and/or for which we developed appropriate Knowledge Base documentation. The most critical unresolved operational issue right now is that iTunes U launches very slowly in Windows, and the current web presentation does not make clear that this is what is happening. The podcasting implementation team is working on a solution for that problem.
    • In addition, we identified several key technical infrastructure issues that would make it infeasible to make iTunes U a production service at this point in time:
      • There is no automated process for creating a course site or user accounts. All course sites and primary and secondary user accounts have to be requested and created manually.
      • Faculty have no ability to make their course sites live. They have to request it manually.
      • All published content is visible to the world; there is no way currently to restrict access to an iTunes U course site to a class roster or a predefined set of users.
      • There is currently no organization of course material on IU's iTunes U page; courses simply pile up on the main page.

      The podcasting implementation team is looking to resolve these problems ahead of production implementation in the following ways:

      • Linkage through Oncourse should automate the creation of course sites and user accounts in iTunes U and determine who has access to the individual iTunes U course sites.
      • Tweaks to the IU administrative interface should make it possible for faculty to make their course sites live.
      • Creative Services is developing an organizational structure in which different podcasts will go within iTunes U. The goal is to have Oncourse identify what school/service the podcast poster belongs to so that when faculty create a course site in iTunes U from Oncourse it is automatically filed in the correct location.

Milestones and status:

  • May 2007: Send invitations
  • June 2007: Faculty develop and publish podcasts
  • July 2007: Faculty complete survey, meet and share their work. Conclusion report with above Outcomes noted was compiled and submitted to Stacy Morrone and Beth Van Gordon.

Comment process: Consultants from the teaching centers on each campus served as the primary contact point for pilot participants on that campus.


  • Refine and improve iTunes U service before rolling it into production
  • Generate interest and enthusiasm for using podcasting in instruction

Project team:

  • Chris Payne (Project manager)
  • Kate Ellis, Tom Janke, Jodie Reminder, Bruce Spitzer (primary support contacts for each campus)
  • Martin Wagner, Manjit Trehan, David Poindexter (technical support)
  • Joe Hacker, Amir Mirpoorian (Classroom Technology Support)
  • Dennis Gillespie, Drew Hostetler (Support Center)
  • Chuck Aikman, Laura McCain (Online Support)

This is document avhl in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 15:49:27.

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