Go from Lecturing to Learning

Sep 30
nClass lecture to learning

Go from Lecturing to Learning

When you lecture your class, does it sometimes feel like you’re just not getting through? Unfortunately, your instinct may be right. This is why nobel laureate Carl Wiemen has tossed traditional college lectures to the curb:

“You give people lectures, and [some students] go away and learn the stuff. But it wasn’t that they learned it from lecture — they learned it from homework, from assignments. When we measure how little people learn from an actual lecture, it’s just really small.”

So what has he replaced these these lectures with? Active learning techniques that researchers proved effective. Here’s a few proven strategies you can use to upgrade your lectures:


  1. Monitor your classroom – This means systematically collecting data about students’ learning throughout a classroom session. The easiest way to do this: ask the entire class questions every so often that test what you’ve just gone over. Using nClass, you can even do this instantaneously and without paper. Using the insights you gain from these mini-quiz, you can adjust both the homework and the next class’ material to address students’ gaps in knowledge.
  2. Emphasize classwork over note-taking – While it’s certainly appropriate to give a quick overview before jumping into classwork, you should avoid monopolizing class time with long speeches. Instead, swap lectures for worksheets and peer instruction. This gives students a chance to try out concepts as soon as you introduce them. As a result, your students will be able to understand their own gaps in knowledge, and ultimately, ask you better questions. Your students will get more out of each class session, and you will feel less winded–it’s a win-win.
  3. Gamify your class – Gamefication is a hot-topic in education these days, and for a good reason: not only does it make class fun, it’s just more effective than traditional lectures. Games are popular for the same reason they are good vehicles for learning–they give instant feedback and reward success without demonizing failure. In a video game, your very same students might continue tackling a problem they failed at over and over. Eventually, they’ll solve that problem and move on to the next with a sense of achievement. Isn’t that exactly what you want your students to get from school as well? If so, why not design your class just like a game? Not sure where to start? Check out this article for more detail.
  4. Flip the classroom – Rather than simply adding a few elements of interactive learning during class, this requires radically shifting your classroom paradigm. In these “flipped” classrooms, students view pre-recorded lectures for homework and spend class time working together on problem sets. This strategy maximizes the amount of time your class can spends on active learning, while giving students reference material (besides the textbook) to work from. nClass goes hand in hand with flipped classrooms, so if you are interested in making the plunge, we’ve got you covered with this guide.

Have you turned your classroom into an interactive learning experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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