| Since launching earlier this year on iTunes U, the Suffolk University Law School Legal Practice Skills podcasts have experienced enormous success, with one recording ranking among the top 10 most downloaded law-related iTunes U podcasts worldwide.
Each week, a different Suffolk Law professor records and uploads a 5-to-10-minute podcast corresponding to his or her academic syllabus. In the past week, the Legal Practice Skills’ “Annotated Sample Memo” has ranked as iTunes U’s second-most downloaded law-related podcast, beating out hundreds of others. Additionally, the weekly Legal Writing Tips podcast series was chosen as one of the nine featured podcasts on the iTunes site, and two of the three “New and Notable” podcasts were also produced by the faculty from the Legal Practice Skills program.
Professor Kathleen Elliott Vinson, director of the Legal Practice Skills program and professor of legal writing, believes these results are proof that podcasts suit students’ various learning styles and needs and serve as an invaluable complement to traditional classroom environments.
“I think they appeal to different learning styles, and I also think they appeal to today’s multi-tasking student,” Vinson said. “Whereas you may not be able to open a book on the subway because it’s too crowded, you can always have your iPod on.”
Ian Menchini, director of electronic marketing and enrollment management, also believes the podcasts serve as a valuable recruitment tool.
“For prospective students, the podcasts demonstrate in a very objective way the real quality of the scholarly work that’s done here,” Menchini said.
On December 1, 2008, the Legal Practice Skills Program will host a “Teaching Through Technology Conference” at Suffolk Law, where podcasts, among other technological teaching tools, will be demonstrated and discussed. Vinson says the program is working on additional podcast ideas for the future and has other projects in the works as well.
“Really, the possibilities are endless at this point,” she said.