The Student Hacks podcast was initiated in April 2020, and it was significantly influenced by the repercussions of COVID-19. The Student Learning Hub recognised the need to leverage to a podcast platform to maintain a connection with its students, particularly those who were experiencing isolation due to the pandemic-related restrictions.
Our primary goal was to ensure that students could continue to engage with UTS even when they were unable to physically attend campus. As circumstances changed, we transitioned to an interview format that features both UTS students and staff. This shift allowed us to bring diverse perspectives and voices to the podcast on relevant and current topics.
The presenters: meet Jennifer and Angelina
Jennifer and Angelina are the current presenters of Student Hacks. As they explain, they hadn’t much experience of presenting or podcasting prior to this, and found it an enriching development experience.
I wasn’t well versed in podcasting, but I did a multimedia subject during high school, where I learned how to edit and voice record. So, the production side of it wasn’t as daunting, but scripting and recording in a studio was all new for me.Jennifer
I’ve never podcasted before. I had dabbled in some video editing for leisure, so I had used iMovie and cameras before, but nothing more. I learned everything, including how to interview people, as well as the technical things, along our podcasting journey.Angelina
Topics and guests
Our planning process for selecting topics and guest speakers is well-structured. We typically plan our content for each semester, although we remain flexible as topics can evolve. Initially, we delve into a specific episode by researching the subject matter and brainstorming potential individuals who can contribute, either as subject matter experts or those who have relevant student lived experiences. Through our experience, we’ve found that interviewees who can effectively tell a compelling story, establish connections and relate to our audience tend to be the most engaging and impactful choices.
The recording studios
It continues to excite us, using the cool equipment and getting to work with the LX.lab staff. A special shoutout to Nat and Matt for always helping and answering our questions. The set-up is perfect for podcasting because the rooms are soundproof and the mics are set up really well. We also learned how to use Premiere Pro and other editing software for post-production, which is also really cool too.Jennifer and Angelina
Podcasts have been an enduring trend and one that’s not going away any time soon. However, it can be a time-consuming planning and production process, so it’s worth thinking through your purpose, audiences and resources before you deliver a proof of concept. Here are 5 tips for getting started:
- Plan early and give yourself lots of time for release in case there are any unforeseen issues e.g. technical issues
- Research your topic and have a basic script planned
- Ensure you have an interesting and engaging podcast title
- Include visuals, if possible, for a greater reach
- Stay consistent with your pace and take your time when speaking so editing is more effortless
You can listen to the back catalogue of Study Hacks, which includes an episode on ChatGTP with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Kylie Readman as special guest.
For an overview of podcasting in learning and teaching, check out the Listening Learner series: