'Academically Adrift' If the purpose of a college education is for students to learn, academe is failing, according to Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, a book being released today by University of Chicago Press.
The book cites data from student surveys and transcript analysis to show that many college students have minimal classwork expectations -- and then it tracks the academic gains (or stagnation) of 2,300 students of traditional college age enrolled at a range of four-year colleges and universities. The students took the Collegiate Learning Assessment (which is designed to measure gains in critical thinking, analytic reasoning and other "higher level" skills taught at college) at various points before and during their college educations, and the results are not encouraging: "How much are students actually learning in contemporary higher education?
The research findings at the core of the book are also being released today by their sponsor, the Social Science Research Council.
Time students spend reading threaded discussions in online graduate courses requiring asynchronous participation. Abbie H.
Brown East Carolina University, USA Tim Green California State University, Fullerton, USA Abstract The authors report the results of a study that provides bases for comparison between the time necessary to participate in courses delivered asynchronously online and courses delivered in a traditional classroom setting. Weekly discussion threads from 21 sections of six courses offered as part of online, degree-granting, accredited, graduate programs were examined.
The discussion size (i.e., the number of words per discussion) was determined using the automatic word count function in MS Word. The study indicates that a typical, graduate-level, online, asynchronous discussion requires about one hour a week of reading time, and the time commitment for participatory activity is similar to that of traditional, face-to-face courses, given that it takes under two hours to compose initial messages and responses to the discussion prompt. The authors address the following questions: Method.
Eric Mazur: Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing? 1096 Lose the Lectures. Folks: The posting below looks at the work of the innovator of "peer instruction" and the huge impact this approach= is having on student learning.
It by Thomas K. Grose and is from Prism, February, 2011. Copyright 2011 American Society for Engineering Education 1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600 Washington, DC 20036-2479 Web: www.asee.org Telephone: (202) 331-3500. Reprinted with permission. Regards, Rick Reisreis@stanford.eduUP NEXT: Joining Your Department and Discipline - Negotiating Tips Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning------------------------------------ 578 words ----------------------------------------Lose the LecturesA physics professor relies on Q&A, class discussions.
As a young physics professor at Harvard in the 1980s, Eric Mazur was certain his lecture-hall classes were a huge success. His students were merely memorizing facts and regurgitating them and reproducing mathematical solutions that were not new. Essentially, Mazur dispenses with lectures. Formula for success in learning. If you have found this place in the vast cyberspace of the web, you are probably not the one to convince that knowledge is power, and that solutions to most problems facing humanity could be found if we were armed with more understanding of how the world works.
While knowledge is power, information can be overpowering. An increasing proportion of the population suffers from Information Fatigue Syndrome, i.e. from stress related to being overwhelmed with an unmanageable glut of information. This text introduces you to simple steps toward managing information and toward rock-solid knowledge. No cheap miracles. Just a clear and straight approach based on facts and science. I have been working on the problem of effective learning for 16 years now since, as a student of molecular biology, I first understood how I could greatly change the quality of all my actions were I able to improve the recall of what I studied for exams (and not only). You may find the first three points obvious. TEACHING MEMORY. Learning Memories Teaching memories is simple -- if you want someone to store some information in memory, just tell them.
For example, if I want you to know my address, I simply tell you that my house number is 10. That doesn't quite end the story -- as all students know, rehearsal is important too. But it's still basically a simple story -- hear (or read) the information, then rehearse. You might have read about "new" teaching techniques, such as "discovery" learning, which are supposed to be superior to just telling students what you want them to learn. The first group of subjects engaged in discovery learning; the second group didn't. Why did they do worse? Testing Testing memory is also basically simple. In mathematics, the test is mathematical problems.
So, in our educational system today, most exams reward conscious learning. The Educational System Today Why is it ideal for memory? The Problems of Learning Conscious Knowledge. Memory Techniques. Peer Instruction in the Humanities Project. How One Instructor Got Students to Pay Attention to Class Rules.