With the software Audacity a free audio recorder and editor is made available, one which offers a lot of possibilities that a virtual audio studio contains and which also allows for the production of podcasts. 
With Audacity one can create, mix and save (in various audio formats), amongst others, multi-track audio recordings. These can be integrated into websites, blogs, wikis or other online channels without any real effort and can be accessed automatically via a subscription feature as, for example, om MP3 players. The user interface of the Audacity software can be operated in an intuitive manner and the look and feel of it is designed in a uniform manner on all of the standard operating systems.   

Using podcasts for teaching can, amongst others, have the following added value:

  • Saving time
  • Addressing auditive or audiovisual learner types
  • Possibility for students to play and repeat content as often and as much as they want to
  • Increase of the binding character of the course due to the personal address by the lecturer (voice and inflection)
  • Automatic access to subscriptions
  • Dissemination of media competency and the collection of practical experiences through application
  • Forces one to formulate precisely and thereby also make precise statements
  • Barrier-free information for students who have sight impediments
  • Course alternation due to a change in media

Illustration 1: Podcasts - Audacity

Table of contents

Implementation forms

Production by educators

  • Lecture recordings and summaries for the preparation for and the follow-up of a course
  • Presentation of current background information and research results
  • Undertaking interviews with experts
  • Commenting on tasks, literature, etc.
  • Feedback for the learners
  • Full digitization of a lecture as an enhanced podcast

Production by learners

  • Regular reflection on the individual topics
  • Producing podcasts instead of presentations
  • Presenting project work
  • Production of audio guides, e.g. for exhibitions
  • Usage for language training purposes

(Source: )

Illustration 2: the podcasting process

Implementation tips

  • Before implementing podcasts a few aspects need to be observed and questions answered


  • What does the target group look like?
  • What didactic goal is being aimed for? 
  • Who produces the podcast(s)? 
  • Which content is supposed to be transported?
  • Which (technical) format should the podcast have?
  • How should the content be designed?


  • Infrastructure must be available: Providing recording devices, software, PC access 
  • Allow for technical consultation
  • Transferring know-how
  • Checking personnel and material resources
  • If necessary, check storage space capacity for audio files
    • iTunes U
    • Blog
    • Wiki


  • Storyboard
  • Short but concise audio offers
  • As enrichment/supplement through additional information sources 
  • For the integration of online and face-to-face phases
  • Virtualization (supplementing/replacing face-to-face courses)


  • The production of podcasts with the software Audacity is uncomplicated. 
  • After the software has been installed on the computer, operating it is a very intuitive process.
  • For the production of a podcast with Audacity one needs a microphone, headphones or a headset as well.
  • Saving the files requires enough web space from which the audio files can be linked to e.g. blogs, wikis, CMS or LMS.

Data protection and terms of use

  • The general terms and stipulations of data protection and copyright must be observed.
  • Especially the use of "not your own" audio material, e.g. as a jingle or backdrop sound, requires special sensitivity and legal adherence when dealing with the material.
  • If you have any legal questions on data protection, data safety, protection of intellectual property rights etc. that crop up during the design phase of a course supported by e-learning, the usage of existing material or the implementation of tools then please contact the Office of the General Counsel of the Freie Universität Berlin. Written information on these topics can be found here and here.

Further information


Implementation examples

Support offered by CeDiS

  • Consulting services for the implementation of digital solutions in teaching: The Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) has extensive experience of many years when it comes to the implementation of digital media and systems within the fields of teaching, learning and research. We offer a wide variety of consulting services on the implementation of these tools and systems within the entire academic scope and especially at Freie Universität Berlin. 
  • Training courses and workshops: For lecturers at Freie Universität Berlin (professors, employees, tutors) as well as lecturers of other universities CeDiS offers training courses and workshops on the topic of teaching and learning with digital media. These course enable participants to implement online elements within their own sphere of teaching.
  • The Executive Board of the Freie Universität supports e-learning initiatives: With the e-learning funding program financial resources are provided to lecturers that enrich and improve their courses quality-wise by implementing technological and media-related support. All of the academic staff teaching, the lecturers or even the institutions of the Freie Universität - without the Charité-Universitätsmedizin - can be supported within this program.