Monday, November 3, 2008

Lectures are so "old-school"!

Lecture [noun]:
Pronunciation: \ˈlek-chər, -shə
Etymology: 15th century Middle English, act of reading, from Late Latin
lectura, from Latin lectus, past participle of legere.

They're interesting origins of the word "lecture", but unfortunately too many lecturers take this quite literally, and consider that teaching is a one-way delivery of information from "expert" to "young, open mind." These same people are today complaining that attendance in their lectures is falling to record low numbers, and that university students today are no longer committed, and don't want to learn. Hmmm... maybe (just maybe?) these lecturers are the cause of this non-attendance?

A couple of weeks ago, in a two-hour lecture with 250 students, I gave everyone an opportunity to interact. Something simple, but interactive. I invited everyone to contribute at any stage during the lecture - by raising their hand, by throwing me a message via paper plane, or by sending me an sms text message. Did it create excitement and engagement? You bet! (see this entry on friday 17th october).


Jo McLeay said...

Fabulous to welcome you to edublogosphere Wags. It's great we can continue the conversation here.

Wags said...

Thanks Jo! It's good to finally bite the bullet and get this blog going.

Cori said...

I don't know about creating excitement, that's pretty hard. When its 2pm and students have just come back from lunch and its nice outside its pretty difficult to get students "excited" about learning.

Instead I try and get moving, physically moving. I find if students are actually doing something they get tricked into learning.

Its often at the cost of the amount of content they get exposed to but which is better: to really absorb a little bit of info or gloss over a whole lot?