Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Lecture is DEAD! Long live the Learning session!

So, the lecture is dead is it BBC?
Or, more to the point, it should have been euthenased a long time ago as MOOCs, digital provision, e-learning and on-line everything else took over the world.  Trouble is - nobody told the Universities or the students...

Exciting lecturer in full flow - courtesy of  Echo 360 Lecture Capture
The thing is that the lecture - and we're saddled with that name - is an integral part of the expectations of students, borne of parental experience, School guidance (by teachers who have been at University) and media portrayals where exciting revalations or drama happen in the last two minutes of a session (see Good Will Hunting (1997) for example).  Lectures also owe a lot to the estates designs of Universities where the bean-counting "stack 'em high" principle often overpowers the peadagogic quality judgement of small class teaching or workshops (and don't start me on the insistent voice of KIS - see my earlier blog where "contact time" bears no relationship to the quality of provision.)

Lectures also owe a lot to our history - after all, who becomes a lecturer today?  Typically those who have shown good academic skills in undergraduate or postgraduate study, have been funded to or enthusiastic enough to do a PhD from which they can publish.  When these folks consider what it is to prepare for a lecture they fall back on their own experience - having been taught by a series of "lecturers" with similar academic journeys to their own.

So, let lectures be more innovative, less anal, more entertaining, less rigid.  Let lecture sessions be PART of the overall learning in a subject - not ALL of it.  Let's embrace technology but not be guided by it.  Let's be enthusiastic about our subject and have that apparent in the way we teach and the energy we expend in explaining it to oiur students.

As one experienced colleague said to me recently:

"I can't stand listening to myself for more than about 10 minutes, so why should I expect anybody else to?"

We can start by reviewing Phil Race's FREE downloads which do need to be updated for technology but not the pedagogy behind the ideas.

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