Vodcasts, also called video podcasting or vlogging, add video to the downloadable sound files familiar to podcast listeners. Vodcasts deliver Video On Demand (VOD) files online via RSS feeds, meaning your audience does not have to be online to view the vodcast. In order to publish a vodcast, video files have to remain on the server and special enclosure tags must be used in an RSS feed. A digital player with video capabilities is needed to view vodcasts. While not as inexpensive to develop as a podcast, a vodcast can be an efficient, appealing way to create digital content for the classroom. It has been used by education institutions at all levels. Vodcasts support a variety of learning styles and offer students the flexibility to view information anywhere and at any time.


  • Ease of access: the ability to download and carry information anywhere and at anytime (Lum, 2006; Morales, 2006)
  • Appeals to a mass audience: where the information can reach people all over the world (Lum, 2006)
  • Cheap and cost effective: can reduce training, technology, hardware/software costs (Lum, 2006)
  • Efficient in promoting and advertising: gets your product/brand/service noticed (Lum, 2006)
  • Create your own content: you decide what information is going to be broadcasted and when it will be broadcasted (Morales, 2006)
  • Provides you and others the opportunity to renew and look up past information and material (Morales, 2006)
  • Offers a variety in teaching methods and keeps the learners engaged in the material (Morales, 2006)


  • Students might not attend classes anymore as they have downloaded the vodcasts (Lum, 2006)
  • Learners can encounter problems with using vodcasts and MP3 players if they have little or no experience using them (Lum, 2006)
  • The technology impeded the employee’s satisfaction with the training course and their learning (Lum, 2006)
  • Learners may become bored with watching /listening to vodcasts, as they are essentially recordings of information that have been digitized and distributed (Morales, 2006)
  • May need to address legal requirements to using vodcasts, for example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had to seek patient permission when they posted clinical videos and they had to protect the individual’s privacy e.g. blurring of faces (Morales, 2006)
  • Not everyone will have MP3 players or want to use vodcasts in their learning (Morales, 2006)
  • File size might be a problem for learners, large file sizes may need adequate bandwidth to download (Morales, 2006)
  • Time, money and other resources to create regular vodcasts are another issue that needs to be addressed by universities and organizations (Morales, 2006)

Best Practices

  • Educators can personalize content for specific students who may have a learning style that differs from that of their peers (Kantharia, 2007)
  • Vodcasting is an inexpensive way to create digital content for your classroom (Morales, 2006)
  • A teacher doesn’t have to recreate the same lessons every year (Morales 2006)
  • The barrier of learning while stationary is now gone, as students can multitask and still obtain important course materials (Lum, 2006)
  • Students work with materials that are up-to-date and generally more engaging than textbooks and lectures (Lum, 2006)

Apply this technology

How to Implement

Creating a vodcast is a three step process:

  1. Create the video. The type of content will determine the software and hardware you need to create the video. If the content is onscreen such as a PowerPoint presentation or showing how to use a software package, then screen capturing software is required, such as Camtasia Studio. Check with the George Mason Division of Instructional Technology to use this software. If your content is not on screen such as with scenery or people, you will need a video camera.
  2. Edit the video. Camtasia can be used with all content, whether onscreen or scenery or people. Video of scenery or people can also be edited with Windows Live Movie Maker (free) for PCs and iMovie for Mac users. iMovie comes packaged with some Apple software bundles, otherwise you may have to purchase it. When you are done editing your video, make sure you save the video in a file format compatible with where you plan to post it.
  3. Post the video. YouTube and George Mason’s iTunes U store can host your video, that is, make it available to your audience. YouTube is free but note that videos can be no longer than 10 minutes, must less than 1 Gigabyte in size, and must be a certain file format such as avi, mpg, or wmv.

Other Resources that Describe How to Implement a Vodcast

The Educational Technology Network website provides direction on how to create podcasts and vodcasts. The site defines basic terminology and recommends software to create the podcasts and vodcasts.

How to create a vodcast

The University of Northern Colorado uses vodcasts to describe how to ‘flip the classroom’ that is, provide lecture while students are at home (called pre-vodcasting) and then use classroom time for homework and experiments. As part of their website, they describe how to create and post a vodcast, how to hold students accountable to viewing the vodcasts, and why live vodcasts are also good to create.

How to create a vodcast

Real World Examples

A set of podcasts and vodcasts are available to George Mason faculty, staff, and students that support a GMU course on how to make an instructional podcast. To view these examples, login to Mason iTunes, scroll down to the link ‘Education and Human Development,’ and then select EDIT 575: Introduction to Podcasting. A menu of podcasts and vodcasts are available to download. To access George Mason’s iTunes U, you will need the iTunes software.

Download iTunes software

Access GMU iTunes U

Khan Academy provides over 2600 videos on a variety of topics including math, science, and economics for free. The instructor uses an electronic tablet to write information while speaking the explanation.

Link to Khan Academy

MIT offers open courseware online for free. Many are a recorded lecture. Notice how the videos have transcription.

Link to MIT Open Courseware

Australia Network provides television shows online as well as vodcasts on learning English. The videos are available online but are not downloadable. The vodcasts are augmented with downloadable files providing with video transcription, study notes, and activities.

Link to Australia Network Educational Videos

YouTube is probably the most widely recognized source of vodcasts, that is, video files. You can search for any topic and most likely find a video clip on it.

YouTube Home Page


Camtasia Studio can capture screen content and edit other video content. Camtasia has a 30-day free trial period or you can purchase it. George Mason’s Department of Instructional Technology also provides it free for use in their lab.

Access Camtasia

Camtasia Help Center

If not already on your PC, Movie Maker can be downloaded for free. In addition to the manufacturer’s help center, YouTube has several help videos.

Movie Maker Download (scroll down for How to Use)

Movie Maker Help Center

If iMovie is not already on your Mac computer, then you can purchase from Apple as part of the iLife Family Pack or from third party vendors for free.

Apple Store

Apple Help Center

George Mason University has space available on iTunes U to upload podcasts and vodcasts. They have a website outlining the steps to acquire iTunes U space for your courses. Note that GMU defines podcasting as including both audio and video files. To access George Mason’s iTunes U, you will need the iTunes software.

GMU process and access to GMU iTunes U

Download iTunes Software

YouTube can also host your videos.

Register for a YouTube account

Video: Learn how to upload a video to YouTube