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Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too, Study Finds

Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too, Study Finds
Are your lectures droning on? Change it up every 10 minutes with more active teaching techniques and more students will succeed, researchers say. A new study finds that undergraduate students in classes with traditional stand-and-deliver lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes that use more stimulating, so-called active learning methods. “Universities were founded in Western Europe in 1050 and lecturing has been the predominant form of teaching ever since,” says biologist Scott Freeman of the University of Washington, Seattle. But many scholars have challenged the “sage on a stage” approach to teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses, arguing that engaging students with questions or group activities is more effective. To weigh the evidence, Freeman and a group of colleagues analyzed 225 studies of undergraduate STEM teaching methods. Freeman says he’s started using such techniques even in large classes.

http://news.sciencemag.org/education/2014/05/lectures-arent-just-boring-theyre-ineffective-too-study-finds

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Government Class Inside pbs.org Photo: pbs.org How I Used Wikis to Get My Students to Do Their Readings Ulises A. Mejias We have heard the complaint or issued it ourselves one too many times: “They don’t read!” After carefully planning and selecting the reading materials, we get to class only to find that students—those who actually bothered to crack open the book—did not get past page three because the reading was “boring,” or “too long,” or the author “could have said the same thing in fewer words.” We have appointed the blame for this evil on different things at different times: the educational system, television, the cynicism of the 80s, the apathy of the 90s, and more recently, of course, the Internet and the socialized stupidity it seems to be breeding (Carr). But can Digital Media provide some simple pedagogical models to promote a more active engagement with that most ancient and passive form of learning: the reading assignment?

Confessions of a Teacher Who Doesn't Believe In Education  I was one of those people that always knew what I wanted to be when I "grew up". I wanted to teach. Asking children, and teenagers what they want to be when they grow up , or what they want to major in when they graduate high school, is a pretty common question. Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics Author Affiliations Edited* by Bruce Alberts, University of California, San Francisco, CA, and approved April 15, 2014 (received for review October 8, 2013) Significance The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has called for a 33% increase in the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) bachelor’s degrees completed per year and recommended adoption of empirically validated teaching practices as critical to achieving that goal. The studies analyzed here document that active learning leads to increases in examination performance that would raise average grades by a half a letter, and that failure rates under traditional lecturing increase by 55% over the rates observed under active learning. The analysis supports theory claiming that calls to increase the number of students receiving STEM degrees could be answered, at least in part, by abandoning traditional lecturing in favor of active learning.

How I Learned about Vocab Instruction When we were in our senior year of college and not yet married, I recall my husband asking one of our major English professors what he should do to improve his vocabulary in preparation for taking the GRE. This professor did not suggest a weekly vocabulary quiz or vocabulary flashcards. No, this professor suggested my husband read even more and read widely. So, he did. Creating Video Tutorials for a Flipped classroom A Flipped Classroom is a teaching model which reverses traditional methods. Instruction is delivered at home through interactive websites, teacher-created videos or content and moves the homework style learning to the classroom. Class time is used for creating tasks, exercises and problem solving while the teacher is present to assist and give immediate feedback whereas the homework is designated for learning content and students can form questions about what they have learnt to prepare for their next lesson. This allows the teacher more time to interact with the students. Some teachers like to create informative videos or ask students to create the videos for younger students. These can be made using screencasting software and some apps, such as:

Interactive and Active Learning by Sean Cornell, Geography-Earth Science, Shippensburg University Tim Heaton, Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota Bill Hirt, Natural Sciences, College of the Siskiyous Aurora Pun, Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico Perry Sampson, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan authored as part of the 2010 workshop, Teaching Geoscience Online - A Workshop for Digital Faculty Jump down to: Practical Considerations | Individual Activities | Collaborative Activities | An Example of a Collaborative Activity Justification Research has shown that online instruction, including hybrid courses that involve some face-to-face instruction coupled with online components, can be just as effective as traditional face-to-face courses in providing high-quality learning experiences (Dept. of Education, 2009). There are many resources on the web that speak to best teaching practices for teaching online. Practical considerations

Defining "Best Practice" in Teaching It's often said in the teaching world (as in many professions and trades, I imagine), "Why reinvent the wheel when there are plenty of practices that already work?" In their book, Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School, Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan share their definition for "best practices," which they define as existing practices that already possess a high level of widely-agreed effectiveness. We teachers are standing on the shoulders of giants before us who have developed tried-and-true strategies by testing them out, reflecting on the outcomes, and honing those strategies over decades or longer. And they work; they get results. What are some of the best pedagogical practices I've adopted over the years from my mentors and guides in this field?

Attention Span Revisited There have been numerous formulas proposed for calibrating the attention span of children, adolescents and adults. Some contemporary researchers advocate gauging children’s attention spans by multiplying chronological age by 3 to 5 minutes for each year of age. Others have set the human attention span at a maximum of 20 - 22 minutes of learning time for upper adolescence and adulthood. Still other child development researchers have concluded that a child’s attention span is typically equivalent in minutes to the chronological age of that young boy or girl. However, from working with educators, parents, and children over the past four decades, the following instructional attention spans seem most accurate and useful.

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