Scholars across the social sciences have advocated for making research more visible to the public and interdisciplinary audiences through increased science communication, and podcasting is a particularly effective strategy for doing so. Recently, the Center for Social Science Scholarship (CS3) launched Retrieving the Social Sciences, a podcast highlighting social science research and teaching at UMBC. In this project, we will promote and assess student participation in Retrieving the Social Sciences as both creators and listeners of content.
Regarding students as creators, we will: (1) Work with social science faculty to assign teams of students to create podcast episodes featuring course-based research; (2) Showcase exceptional student research by inviting social science student URAs, URCAD presenters, and graduate students to be interviewed on the podcast; (3) Administer questionnaires to those students to understand their perceptions of learning outcomes from podcast creation, such as improvement in oral communication. Regarding students as listeners, we will: (1) Work with social science faculty to assign student-centered and other pedagogically-relevant podcast episodes for students to listen to as part of coursework; (2) Administer questionnaires to those students to understand their perceptions of outcomes from podcast listening, such as understanding of course content and motivation to conduct research or engage with the public.
Through these channels, the CS3 podcast will more fully engage social science students in cross-disciplinary learning and interaction, while building their science communication and public outreach skills. Funding will also help ensure the short-term sustainability of CS3’s podcast while building capacity for its long-term sustainability.