To lecture, or not to lecture?
- From time to time, a story hits the media that decries that bastion of undergraduate education, the lecture. It’s too passive, the criticism goes; it encourages rote memorisation rather than promoting conceptual understanding. Cue interesting discussion on Twitter, because some geologists aren’t willing to give up on the lecture quite yet…
- So at least some geoscientists see a place for the ‘sage on the stage’ - and Erik is a lecturer himself.
- It’s less exciting than the ‘total teaching revolution!’ angle, but the consensus seems to be that adapting the lecture format to include more interactive aspects is the best strategy. But it is not without its challenges.
- Clickers are quite big at the moment. I saw a poster at AGU which was experimenting with a mobile web app rather than dedicated equipment (although smart phones are still not cheap).
- But we digress…
- This is a good point - those who end up doing the teaching are those who did well under the current system. This might lead to a skewed perspective of it’s overall effectiveness.
- Just to show that there are no simple answers here, Lockwood reminds us that there truly is nothing new under the sun:
- It seems that we might need more data, then.
- This is indeed a problem, although in many ways it is a rational response by the students to the system they find themselves in.So lecturing is not dead. Nor is it perfect, but nor should it be killed. I support this point with reference to another educational tool that gets a lot of bad press: