GOOD

Research Proves College Lectures Need to Go the Way of the Dinosaur

A recent experiment proves what we all know: Talking at college students is a terrible way of teaching.


I signed up for a calculus class my freshman year of college that had almost 100 other students. Our professor talked into the whiteboard the entire class. I had a hard time staying awake, and had pretty much no clue what was going on. Too many professors feel right at home talking at students instead of fostering an engaging and interactive learning environment. Students are expected to sit there, take notes, and find some way to stay awake. The suck-it-up-and-endure-a-mind-numbing-lecture mindset is so ingrained in college, schools even assign room names like "Lecture Hall 4".

We know anecdotally that this is a terrible way of teaching, but now a recent experiment has proved that the lecture method really does need to go the way of the dinosaur. Science reports that a team of researchers, led by physics Nobelist Carl Wieman, recently conducted experiments in classes at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver and at the University of Colorado at Boulder which proves that "students learn much better through an active, iterative process that involves working through their misconceptions with fellow students and getting immediate feedback from the instructor."


The researchers let each of the class sections spend the first 11 weeks of the semester with the typical lecture-based model of teaching. In week 12, both groups kept the same reading material and assignments, but that's where the similarities end. One group, the control group, stayed in the lecture format we know so well. The other group, the intervention group, was taught using a method called "deliberate practice," which featured small group discussions, tasks where the students were asked to think like scientists and daily quizzes on assigned reading. Students were also able to respond to questions using an interactive electronic clicker that gave the instructors instant feedback on student comprehension.

Unsurprisingly, in the intervention group, student attendance skyrocketed 20 percent. Engagement doubled, and so did test scores. When given a 12-question multiple-choice test on the content taught, the control group only got 41 percent of the questions correct, but the intervention group got 74 percent correct. And for professors obsessed with what students write on course evaluations, more than 90 percent said they preferred the interactive method of teaching.

So why do colleges persist with the lecture model despite research proving that it doesn't work? One, it's cheaper to pack dozens of students into a lecture hall instead of hiring more staff to teach smaller class sections. Two, there's a pervasive attitude that higher education is exempt from the methods K-12 teachers need to employ to ensure students learn. And, in college, students are seen as responsible for learning, no matter what kind of style of instruction comes their way. That said, the researchers are upbeat about the possibility of colleges being able to change their lecturing ways. Let's hope so for the sake of the next generation of students.

Articles
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News