A little irony

The lecture, as a teaching methodology, has gotten a lot of bad press in recent years. I should know–I’ve been one of the critics. The problem with lectures, it is said, is that they are passive, allowing recipients to simply listen without necessarily being engaged.

Both the literature on pedagogy and my experience have taught me that the lecture method works best with students who are highly motivated to learn, and willing and able to take what the professor presents and make meaning out of it. In other words, the presentation is only the beginning of the learning experience for such students.

University 2.0, at least what I make of it, is designed to help students become more engaged in their learning. It doesn’t present them the facts they need to learn, but rather helps them understand how to teach themselves. It seems ironic to me that lecture works well for the motivated, self-starting learners, while U2.0 with its very different pedagogy seeks to make students better able to learn from the lecture method.

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1 Response to A little irony

  1. Jeff says:

    I don’t disagree with your focus on students’ desire to learn being a factor, but what role (responsibility) does the professor have in making those lectures interesting, engaging and interactive? In other words, there are numerous ways to make lectures more than just passive experiences for students. Done right, lectures can be effective in conveying lots of information in an organized manner (more-or-less organized–my lectures tend to be like my conversations, full of digressions).

    Are you suggesting that lectures will have no (or much less of a) place in U2.0?

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