Freed-Hardeman University computer science professor Kenan Casey has a hit on his hands. Or, perhaps, in their hands.
This spring, Casey posted his in-class lectures for Computer Networks (CIS 345) on iTunes U so his students could re-watch the lectures. “It was hard for me to believe they would listen to the lecture a second time,” he said, “but on the course evaluations, they said it was one of the things they liked most about the class.”
Casey was even more surprised when students from other universities began to watch the lectures. He began receiving emails from students in the United States and internationally asking for a few missing lectures. One Illinois student said he needed the missing lecture to study for his final exam. “I never really thought that students outside FHU would watch my videos. I just used iTunes U because it was easy for me and my students to use,” Casey said. In addition to ease-of-use, students like the fact that on their iPads, they can “listen faster.” They can watch the lecture at 1.5X or 2X, thereby reducing the time spent listening.
Now Casey has gone from “surprised” to “shocked.” As he looked over the list of most popular iTunesU courses in engineering, he discovered his lectures in the top twenty. It, in fact, has moved to #10 on the list. “I'm honored (and unworthy) to be listed among courses from world-class faculty from prestigious universities like Stanford and MIT,” he said. Unsure exactly how Apple computes “most popular,” Casey is nevertheless currently basking in the glow of his “hit” iTune.
ITunes U provides a way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content. Students and lifelong learners can experience the courses for free through an app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Those interested may check out the lectures here