Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Adding a Podcast to a Course


A podcast is a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed online using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Most podcasts contain audio files, although video files can also be used.

Podcasts are convenient for sharing media files with your students. If you enable RSS feeds, students are notified of when a new file is available and they can listen to or view it on their personal computer or download it to a portable player. Otherwise students access podcast files through the course site.

A course has one podcast feed, but instructors can add an unlimited number of episodes to the podcast.


The Academic Technology Center has equipment and software that you can use to create media files for podcasts and iPods for listening to or viewing audio and video podcast files. To learn more about creating media files for podcasts, contact the ATC at

Configuring the Course Podcast Tool

Before you can add media files (episodes), you must first configure the podcast tool.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Manage Podcast. The Manage Podcast page appears with four sections.

Section 1: Podcast Information

  1. In the Feed Title field, enter a title that represents all of the podcast episodes in your course. By default the field is populated with the name of your course, followed by the word "Podcast". You can change it if needed.


  2. Enter a description in the Description field, if desired.

Section 2: iTunes Metadata

This section allows you to specify iTunes-specific content for the course feed. WPI is not an iTunes customer and does not use iTunes for distributing podcasts, but if you use iTunes on your own, you can use this section. Most instructors can skip this section of the screen.

Section 3: Options

A podcast generally has an associated RSS feed that allows users to subscribe to the content through a podcast aggregator. RSS feeds are available to the public, so anyone who gets the URL can subscribe to your podcast, including individuals who are not in your class or are not even associated with WPI. If you do not want your podcasts to be publicly available, you can disable RSS feeds for your course.

  1. In the Visibility field, select In Course Only if you do not want RSS feeds and you want students to listen to or view your content within the course site. Select Everyone, Available to the public if you want to make the RSS feeds available.

Section 4: Submit

  1. Click Submit to save the podcast settings for your course.

Creating a Podcast Episode

  1. Go to the Control Panel view or the Edit View of the folder or content area you want to add a podcast to, such as Course Materials.
  2. From the dropdown menu at the far right of the toolbar, select Podcast Episode and click Go.
  3. The Add Podcast Episode page appears with five sections.

Section 1: Episode Information

  1. In the Title field, enter a title for the episode.
  2. In the Description field, enter a description, if desired.

Section 2: Podcast Media

  1. Indicate the source for the media file. If the media file is on your computer or a network drive, click Browse next to the Attach local file field to locate the file. If the media file is located on an external server (such as WPI's media server), enter a URL to the file in the Link to an external URL field.


Most media types will work with the myWPI podcast tool if the files are played within the course site, including WMV, WMA, MPG, MP3, MP4, MOV, and ASX files. If RSS feeds are enabled and students are using apodcast aggregator, such as iTunes), some file formats may not be compatible, requiring those students to access the files within the course site. If you upload a file format that won't play or if you have questions about file formats, contact for assistance.

Section 3: Attachments

This section allows you to attach files, such as transcripts or presentation slides, to a podcast episode. When a student listens to or views the podcast, they can access the attachments as well.

  1. For each file you want to attach, enter a name for the link to the file in the Link Name field.
  2. Click Browse to locate the file you want to attach.
  3. To attach more than three files, click the Add Another Attachment link.

Section 4: Options

  1. To make the podcast available, click Yes in the Make the episode available field.
  2. If you want to make the podcast episode available only for a specific time period, click the Display After and Display Until checkboxes and select the appropriate dates and times from the dropdown menus.

Section 5: Submit

  1. Click Submit to add the podcast episode.
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Last modified: Jul 25, 2007, 10:07 EDT
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