Merriam-Webster defines a podcast as “a program (as of music and talk) made available in a digital format for automatic download over the internet”. I have listened to other podcasts in the past mostly about advice and funny moments. Never a crime one but I was recently introduced to Serial, for an assignment. I was a little hesistant listening to this podcast because I had to answer some in-depth questions that involved specific examples along the way. I used some listening strategies to help me get through it, some helped and some did not.
Take Notes When You Are Listening
One thing about me is I really like writing notes, in order to understand material I have to learn. This strategy helped me out a lot when listening to the podcast because I already had the questions in front of me so I would know what content was to be expected in the podcast. Also, some of the questions needed an example from the podcast itself. Then, I would pause the podcast write down a quote directly from the audio and the time stamp so I could come back to it later. The notes I had written made it easier to answer the questions and come up with supporting points.
When I am reading a book I like to imagine what the characters are doing specific situations they are encountering. I used this strategy when listening to the Serial podcast to visualize the people’s actions they committed within the case. This was easy for me to do because I have been doing it for a while. I did have a little trouble focusing because I was too invested on the images in my head and not actually listening to what the podcast had to say. This made me have to rewind the audio and put myself back into an undivided attention zone.
Have a Purpose for Listening
I tried to ask myself why there is always a purpose in reading or listening to a text. One of the ways you can do this is ask yourself “why is this necessary?” (Roche). Then, think of all of the reasons that you can be “making meaning from sound” (Treasure). I did not find this helpful because I did not see any improvement in my responses to the questions. Also, I did not find it easier to listen for specific information.
For next time I will try to be more focused on the listening portion and not be worrying about the images in my head, if they are realistic or not. I will make sure that I am fully focused throughout the course of the audio and not waste any time. I also want to try understanding the purpose of listening to these audio pieces. I don’t think I have had a lot of practice and that is why I haven’t found it helpful yet. Also, pausing and reflecting what I have listened to will help me have a better idea grasping the Main Idea of anything I continue to read.
My favourite strategy is writing down notes when listening, I know it is simple and basic but it really does help me out. I also have the chance to pause the podcast, write at my own pace, and rewind to important parts if necessary. I can also reflect on my previous notesif I need to remember an important detail that might be useful later on in the audio. Writing my own notes will not bring me everywhere though, I will have learn different ways of retaining information and remembering vital pieces in media.
Listening is different from watching a movie, we can see what the characters look like and the situations they are in without the use of visualizing. Also, there are options of having subtitles that you can read the dialogue instead of listening. Since podcasts have came out instead of watching the different types of media we now listen to audio and have use our many listening strategies to really understand what people are trying to say.
Haddad, Joseph. “Note Taking Tips” My Student Voices. 16 January 2016. https://mystudentvoices.com/note-taking-tips-7c5991314884
Koeing, Sarah. “Serial.” Season 1, episode 1, https://serialpodcast.org/season-one#episodes
Roche, Steve. “Why is listening important?” Alchemy for Managers. 8 July 2020. https://www.alchemyformanagers.co.uk/topics/tv8zhuMZpZEzsgNc.html#:~:text=So%20listening%20is%20important%20because%3A&text=Good%20listening%20allows%20us%20to,only%20way%20to%20establish%20communication.
Schilling, Dianne. 10 Steps To Effective Listening. Forbes. 9 November 2012.
“5 ways to listen better.” Youtube. TED, 29 July 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSohjlYQI2A. Accessed 8 July 2020.