Is lecturing the most effective way of learning? What are the problems with lecturing?
“I think what many students in their introductory physics courses do is they retain their intuitive notions,” says Mazur. They memorize what the professor tells them and “parrot it back” on the exam but they never really connect what they are learning to what they already think about how the physical world works.
A whole field of education research has emerged from what physicists have learned about the problems with the traditional lecture. There are now Physics Education Research groups at dozens of universities and a long list of peer-reviewed studies that confirm what they have found. It’s not just physics where lectures fail; the traditional lecture is not an effective way to teach any subject.
I had thought about traditional lecture since I was a student. In principle, lecturing is an useful method in delivering to a large group of students.
In this post on rethining teaching, Professor Eric Mazur explains how he has changed the way he taught in mass lecture: teaching by questioning, rather than lecturing.
“You can forget facts, but you cannot forget understanding”. Says Eric.
Here peer instruction has been used for driving the learning.
How would this peer instruction be applicable to MOOC? I think we are already having a lot of peer learning and instruction here in MOOC since CCK08, where emergent and self-organised learning flourished (Williams et al. 2011), with the use of networks and social media platforms as ways to share our views and learning, so we could critique on the concepts behind through critical inquiry, with PLE/PLN as filters to the information, and creation of artifacts for sharing of information and knowledge, leading to on-going discourse with Web 2.0 tools.
We are now more used to raising questions and providing evidences in learning in the social media and networks, where Roy Williams says:
We now live in an environment where we can not only ask questions, but provide the evidence, live, on our mobile phones, internationally, bypassing, or ‘disinter mediating’ all the traditional social institutions, filters, and agenda setters.
Is questioning a better way to learn, not only to teach? What about your experiences in learning beyond the social institutions – using peer learning?
Postscript: This post on peer learning is interesting.