Wednesday, July 23, 2008

End of the College Lecture?

Will the traditional college lecture be a thing of the past? The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses some ideas being discussed:

Let’s take for example, the course, Introduction to Biology.

The Association of College & University Biology Educators would select 15 outstanding educators who teach Introduction to Biology. The 15 would divide “Introduction to Biology” into 15 modules, with each educator choosing to create and deliver the lecture section of two modules, so there would be two versions of each module. Instead of having just one lecturer, the student would be exposed to 15, hence the moniker, DiversiSection.

Each professor, for his or her two modules, would develop:
— mini-lectures punctuated by demonstrations
— student-immersive simulations
— remedial and enrichment supplementation
— quizzes
— sample reading list, assignments, and exams. Each institution’s academic department or an individual professor could use those or develop their own to better align the course with the professor’s or department’s preferences.

Experts in online education and in the technology of its implementation would be available for the professors to call on in developing their modules.

During DiversiSection classes, a person would be available online to answer questions in real-time.

N.B.: Discussion/seminar sections of those courses would remain in-person, as in a traditional course.

The development of DiversiSections could be funded by government, higher education consortia, the private sector, or public-private partnerships.

Read the full article here.

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