Since the release of our first titles on iTunes U and the Oxford Podcasts website in 2008, podcasting has become an integral part of Oxford’s outreach activities, both to disseminate research and to provide educational materials for schools and colleges. It also increasingly features as a communications channel for an internal audience, a development which is reflected in this year’s winning entry.
Winner: Kevin Halon for the University of Oxford Counselling Service Podcast Series
The University’s Counselling Service sees about 10% of the student population each year, but is keen to reach all students who might benefit from its advice. Kevin Halon came up with the idea of creating therapeutic podcasts created by members of the Counselling Service. They selected topics that, from experience, they felt would be helpful for students. Seventeen have been created so far and are available for students to download to their mobile devices from Oxford Podcasts and iTunes U as well as the Counselling Services’ own website. Downloads already number in the thousands, and OUSU is actively promoting them. The judges considered this well planned and sensitively implemented initiative to be a worthy winner in the Academic Podcasting category.
Runner-up: Dr Cynthia Srikesavan for High Quality Physiotherapy Evidence in Tamil
The judges wished to commend Cynthia for her dedication and enthusiasm in making high quality health evidence-based health care information available to Tamil-speaking physiotherapists in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. Cynthia has translated into Tamil 14 short podcasts summarising the findings of systematic reviews issued by the Cochrane Collaboration and including links to translations of the articles referred to. She works on a voluntary basis and manages a team of volunteer Tamil translators and editors. Cynthia has received encouraging and positive feedback from her audience and from health-care organisations.
Honourable Mention: Clare Coleman and William Mills for Living in the Stone Age
The judges singled out Living in the Stone Age for an Honourable Mention. The Ashmolean Museum assembled experimental archaeologists, Oxford University lecturers and specialists in bushcraft to demonstrate a range of Stone Age crafts, skills, technologies, art and music. The judges found the series of 11 short films well designed, informative and engaging to watch. Although designed for the school classroom, they should appeal to all ages.