Monday, August 23, 2010

Even in large lecture courses, faculty can engage with students!

Last spring, the TENN TLC  joined with ITC (Innovative Technology Consulting) to present a workshop on blended learning, also called hybrid education (terms which refer to using technology in conjunction with in-class teaching methods).  Called "Deepening Student Responsibility," the workshop posited that by pushing lecture materials, reading assignments, discussion forums, and quizzes to course management platforms, students will be held more responsible for learning base information and will use classroom time for problem-solving and deeper discussions with faculty and peers.

This fall, New York University will pilot placing lectures on open source (online) venues in ten courses and training those faculty to run discussion sections instead of delivering lectures in class.  According to the Chronicle article by Marc Parry,  NYU will "publish academic material online as free, open courseware [and ] explore ways to reprogram the roles of professors in large undergraduate classes, using technology to free them up for more personal instruction."  Parry also reports that "Professors who assign some sophisticated online material produced by the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University have reported similar changes in classroom focus."

Many faculty are trying this approach on their own.  What has your experience been?

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