Is the traditional form of lecture obsolete?

Apr 5
nclass students engaged using tablets smartphones

Is the traditional form of lecture obsolete?

Is it possible that the most common class format is ineffective? Recent research points suggests it might be. In fact, students in traditional lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than those in active learning classes.


Where lectures fail: Participation is inherently optional. Unfortunately, this means your students tend to zone out after a while. Even if you present top-notch explanations, it may not stick. Here’s another reason why: sometimes students are better at explaining concepts to each other than professors are to students. Not to mention, a traditional lecture setting is always subject to a time constraint, which can mean instructors must speed up or refuse questions in order to get through all the materials. What could be worse than ignoring students’ concerns as they think?


What to do instead: An effective classroom is an active one, and there are several ways to do this: some teachers “flip” the classroom making students responsible for absorbing facts out of class, and turn class time into workshop time. Other instructors allow students short periods to discuss concepts with their peers, addressing concerns as they come up. Others sprinkle questions into lectures as a “pulse check” keeping students alert through out. We suggest trying a few techniques to find the one that works best for your material.


How nClass can help: Active learning is infinitely easier when students can respond instantly. That technology works even better when students don’t forget their response tool at home. With nClass, you can add pulse checks, exit tickets, promote class discussion and peer instruction with one tool that students access on their smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Have you ditched traditional lectures? Let us know below.

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