Transitioning Away From Lectures: How To Adopt A More Active Approach To Teaching & Learning
Even though lecturing is nearly ubiquitous in most college classes across almost every discipline, there is little if any evidence that lectures do much to help students learn. Moving away from lecturing is scary and difficult for everyone involved from students to teachers to administrators, but it is our obligation to follow the evidence and adopt a more active approach to teaching and learning that minimizes or eliminates lectures.
It is a real problem that many students don't learn as much as they could in their classes and, as teachers, we need to realize that the way we design our courses is one of the main driving factors in how much students learn. Even though the evidence against the effectiveness of lecturing is hard to dismiss, it is a significant challenge for students, teachers, and administrators even to imagine what a college class without lectures could look like. For many, being a 'great lecturer' is a point of pride and even the central pillar of one's identity as a teacher and so considering a class without lectures is a profound challenge to consider.
After more than 500-years, the lecture is still the hallmark trait of most college classrooms. In fact, lectures are such a prominent aspect of our current teaching and learning paradigm that many of us find it difficult or impossible to imagine how a college class could work without them. Lectures are the way most of us learned and what most current students expect from college classes.
In this webinar, we will consider the history of lecturing and acknowledge why this way of transmitting knowledge from teacher to students made sense in a time when there were few books in existence. But, of course, this paradigm of teaching and learning with the teacher as a content expert or "sage on the stage" with passive students sitting, listening, and taking notes has remained remarkably unchanged over hundreds of years.
Yet, more than 50-years of research tells us that lectures are not an effective way for teachers to promote student learning. We will review some of the reasons why lectures fail to promote meaningful learning and, in light of this, we'll explore our own roles as lecturers: why we lecture and what we believe (or hope) our lectures are doing to promote student learning.
We will examine various types of "lectures" ranging from what we can call "continuous exposition by the teacher," to the "lecture/discussion" to something we will call "just in time teaching." Assuming that the goal is real, meaningful learning, we will then consider the pros and cons of these types of lectures from the standpoint of both teachers and students.
Finally, we will entertain the idea that it is finally time to leave the lecture behind and move into a new paradigm of teaching and learning where time in class isn't spent with the teacher trying to transmit knowledge to students but, instead, where students come to class prepared to engage in active learning with a teacher in the role of learner facilitator.
We will consider practical alternatives to lecturing and hear from former "great lecturers" about their experiences designing and teaching courses without lectures and the impact this "no lecture" approach has had on student learning.
Great lecturers and skeptics are welcome to attend this provocative but fun session that will hopefully leave them with lots of food for thought about lecturing. This webinar will take an "active learning" approach so participants should expect to watch and listen but also to write, think, and communicate with the presenter and each other during the webinar.
- Explore the history of lecturing in college classes and examine the reasons why lectures became such a prominent aspect of the "transmission of knowledge" paradigm of teaching and learning
- Contrast this "transmission of knowledge" approach to education to the "active learning" paradigm of teaching and learning as a way to highlight the role of the lecture
- Introspect and consider the role lectures play in their own approach to teaching and learning and to their identity as teachers
- Consider their motives for lecturing, the outcomes they believe their lectures are attending to, and ask and answer the question, "why do I lecture?"
- Consider why students expect and often say they prefer lectures to other more active approaches to learning
- Review and then compare and contrast various types of "lectures," and then consider how these different kinds of "lectures" fit into the teaching and learning paradigms we've identified
- Examine and discuss some of the research on the effectiveness of lectures at promoting student learning as a way to confront the powerful argument that lectures are very ineffective
- Review some of the research that suggests the Active Learning paradigm that minimizes or eliminates lectures, is far superior in promoting meaningful student learning
- Consider what it would mean to minimize lecturing (or totally eliminate lecturing) in their own classes by examining and exploring Active Learning alternatives
- Review and consider actual case studies where college teachers moved away from lecturing by moving to an Active Learning course design and examine how this transformed their identities as teachers and how it positively impacted student success
- K12 & 2-year & 4-year institutions
- Academic Affairs/Instruction
- Faculty (full and part-time)
- Deans of Instruction
- Department Chairs
- Online Learning faculty
- Any educator interested in learning more exploring active learning alternatives
Eric Salahub has been at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins Colorado since 1999 where he teaches philosophy and serves as an instructional coach. In his coaching role, Eric has worked with hundreds of teachers helping them improve their craft in face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes. Over the past 5 years, Eric's main teaching and research focus is in Active Learning and he is the co-creator and director of the Active Learning Institute. In 2018 Eric was named the Colorado Community College's Outstanding Faculty and in 2019 he was awarded the Jerome Wartgow award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology.
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Funding is a little tight, how many workshops can I get for $XX?
You can buy the entire StudentLingo package (50 workshops) or we offer several a la carte options. Unlike a lot of other software companies, we don’t charge per user, so we can work with any budget. We recommend talking to other departments on campus to increase your purchasing power and to share the cost. Also, we do have a pay model whereby students pay directly. If you are interested in learning more about this option, give us a call.
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This is a feature of our platform, but comes at an additional cost. With the admin view, you get access to more advanced reporting, and you have it in real time. With the standard membership, you get monthly reports.
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- One of our partners, College of Southern Nevada, used StudentLingo to measure learning outcomes. in a study, one class had access to StudentLingo and the other cohort did not. 92% of the cohort with access to StudentLingo earned a whole letter grade higher than the cohort without StudentLingo.
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What is TutorLingo?
TutorLingo is a series of 9 online training modules that prepare tutors by providing the basic skills necessary to support their peers in becoming more independent and strategic learners.
Should the TutorLingo trainings be viewed in any particular order?
No, each training is a stand-alone workshop, and they can be viewed in any order.
What is the CRLA?
The CRLA is a group of student-oriented professionals active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring, and mentoring. In 1989, the CRLA created a training program that is considered ‘best-practice’ for tutor training. A fews years ago, Innovative Educators partnered with the CRLA to create supplementary training modules. Our training supports learning centers in achieving level 1 certification through CRLA.
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Yes. CRLA members receive a 10% discount on TutorLingo.
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ParentLingo is a go-to resource that institutions can easily share with parents to encourage student independence, growth & success. ParentLingo is a shared resource that recognizes and includes parents as partners in the educational process.
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