How To Leverage Podcasts To Attract Online Learners

What Are The Best Ways To Use Podcasts For Learning
Summary: Looking for cost-effective ways to support your online training program? Read on to discover 6 ways to use podcasts for learning.

What Are The Best Ways To Use Podcasts For Learning?

Learners are always looking for ways to diversify their learning journey and take a break from books and face-to-face lectures. And even though video has been their primary alternative for many years, something new has come to share the spotlight. Podcasts, or audio-only media, have been one of the many wonderful outcomes of the technological advancements of the last few decades. In recent years, we've seen them quickly become a favorable way of learning on the go. But how can you best utilize podcasts for learning? Read on to discover 6 ways to incorporate podcasts into training courses to achieve optimal results.

What Is A Podcast?

The term "podcast" was first used in a 2004 article for The Guardian and is a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "cast." This combination reflects the device that was the first main point of access for podcasts, as well as the fact that this media could be broadcast widely via the internet. Right now, millions of subscribers around the world can easily find podcasts on multiple platforms and access them on demand so that they can fit them into their busy schedules and fulfill their multitasking demands. There are various types of podcasts that aim to educate, inform, or entertain. Continuing, we focus on podcasts for learning purposes and how you can use them to supplement your training program.

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6 Effective Ways To Use Podcasts For Learning

1. Substitute Videos

For many years, videos have been the primary tool for instructors to make training programs more appealing and engaging to online learners. However, their high production cost and longer development time make them a less desirable choice for companies with limited budgets for Learning and Development. If you are on the lookout for a more cost-effective way to captivate learner attention, podcasts are a great alternative. Like videos, they can capture training sessions and lectures in audio form and then be added to a media library for your audience to quickly access. This way, you can maintain a sense of community, flexibility, and constant communication among learners without making a significant dent in your budget.

2. Introduce New Courses And Motivate Learners To Enroll

We usually associate podcasts with the learning session itself. However, it can also be used before the training. Specifically, podcasts can be used to inform learners about the various courses that are available to them. Using teasers that last a few minutes and can be quickly put together, you can present the highlights of each course and how it would benefit a learner according to their interests and goals. This way, you can get your audience excited about the learning opportunities you provide and urge them to give them a try. For increased engagement, add an interactive element by asking learners which skills they would like to hone next.

3. Support Repetition Of Information

Repetition is one of the best methods to promote information retention and achieve optimal learning results. Thankfully, podcasts are perfectly designed for this purpose, as they let you easily summarize the main takeaways of a training session for your audience to listen to during a training course or after they have completed it as a way to refresh their knowledge. Additionally, their short duration doesn't overwhelm online learners. On the contrary, it motivates them to relisten multiple times. Not to mention that switching the form in which you present training material, e.g., from written to audio, aids learners even more in successfully comprehending it.

4. Leverage The Power Of Storytelling

Although many podcasts involve two or three people speaking in a conversational style, this might not be the best way to go when creating podcasts for learning. Instead, lean into narrative podcasts that utilize storytelling to best capture the attention of the learner and explore a topic. Storytelling has the special ability to immerse trainees into the learning process by sharing case studies and practical examples in a relatable and engaging way. You can also break your content into episodes, introduce characters, and even make your story more interesting by incorporating twists and turns. These techniques will create an immersive experience for your online learners, allowing them to reflect on the content and connect it to their real-life experiences.

5. Encourage Asynchronous Learning

A large part of online learning's allure is that it allows learners to access training material anytime and anywhere. But podcasts bring another benefit to the table: they engage fewer senses than traditional online learning methods. For example, where videos require learners to grab their laptop or smartphone and sit down to watch an educational video, podcasts allow them to just wear their headphones and listen while commuting, working out, or even doing household chores. These are some of the reasons why learners are so willing and quick to make podcasts part of their learning routine.

6. Support Corporate Culture And Social Learning

Nowadays, many organizations are turning to podcasts to enhance relationships among their learners and promote teamwork, as these elements significantly enhance productivity and innovation. There are various ways you can achieve this. For one, you can ask learners to record their own bite-sized podcasts to share experiences or knowledge that could be useful to their colleagues. In addition, you can have team members collaborate to create podcasts with content that can range from entertaining to educational. Whatever the case, your audience will have practiced their collaborative skills and learned something new from each other.


Although still in its initial stages, using podcasts for learning can transform the effectiveness of your training program in more ways than one. In this article, we explored some of the ways podcasts can fit into your online training program and attract more learners, such as by replacing video, supporting knowledge retention, and promoting corporate culture. Harness the power of audio and watch as participation, engagement, and learning results soar.