:async: Chalk Radio Podcast: A New Approach for Promoting OER Awareness

Authors: Brett Paci & Sarah Hansen
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT OpenCourseWare)
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Presentation (podcast)


At MIT OpenCourseWare, we’re passionate about sharing OER with a global audience. Our newest initiative, the Chalk Radio Podcast, is our latest effort to amplify awareness of OER at scale. This presentation (itself a Chalk Radio special episode created for conference attendees) introduces attendees to our podcast, our purpose for producing it, and our worldwide listenership. In an effort to encourage other OER advocates to produce podcasts, we highlight three advantages of using the medium as a tool for promoting the use and awareness of OER in higher education settings and make transparent our process for creating the podcast. Takeaways include technical set up recommendations, strategies for creating interview protocols, tips for writing show notes, and sample outreach emails. Links for ways to explore Chalk Radio and related resources will be provided.


podcasts, OER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT OpenCourseWare, Chalk Radio, teaching

Welcome! Access our presentation here.

1 Like

Supporting Resources:

Chalk Radio podcast website
Promotional Email Templates.pdf (117.3 KB)
MIT OpenCourseWare website

What questions do you have about launching your own OER podcast?

1 Like

I do have my own podcasts narrating the stories of chemists and scientists in Chemistry titled Che-Mystery. I would really appreciate your valuable feedback on my podcast.

I have 2 questions:

  1. How to keep them financial sustainable?
  2. Can we diversify the topics within the podcast? Like since my podcasts are about stories of chemists, can we diversify about other subjects?

Hello! Thank you for sharing your podcast. I look forward to listening to it–and to learning from you and how you produce it. One strategy I’ve heard about for keeping podcasts financially sustainable is using Patreon. According to their website, “Patreon lets creators earn a monthly income by giving their fans access to exclusive content and custom rewards.” We haven’t tried this, but I’ve listened to other podcasts that have. If you try it, please let us know how it goes. As for your second question, I think it’s ok to diversify topics within the podcast as long as there is a connection back to the main topic (the reason many people are listening). For example, I think it would be really interesting to hear an interview with an artist who incorporates chemical processes into his/her art work. Or to talk about an environmental issue that maybe ties back to chemistry is some way. I’m fairly new at this, so perhaps others can weigh in, but I think audiences appreciate the opportunity to broaden their horizons.

1 Like

Thankyou so much! I will look into Patreon and get back to you! I particularly liked the visual of your podcast! :heart_eyes: And of course the ease of narration. Will look forward to your feedback.

I’ve listened to two of your episodes. First, I love the name of your podcast! You really are sharing the mysteries of our world that chemistry helps illuminate. The music, especially in the episode about why we need chemistry stories, was engaging. My only suggestion would be to run through new episodes and try to cut out any unintentional pauses/gaps. This is something I always have to remind myself to do.

What I’m learning from you is that it is a good idea to create and group episodes by theme. For example, your collection of episodes about “unsung women in chemistry” worked very well. I also like how you explicitly say at the end of each episode that the podcast is CC-licensed. I see this podcast as being so useful for chemistry educators at the secondary and post-secondary level who are looking to highlight applications/mysteries of chemistry for students. Great motivational material. I don’t have a chemistry background, but suddenly, I’m interested!

1 Like

Thank you so much for your comments and your valuable suggestions! They mean a LOT!!
I will definitely look into reducing the unintentional gaps.