Lectures on demand

“Some lecture classes have 250 students, so I question the effectiveness of a didactic lecture for an hour.”

Dr Bill Ashraf will be distributing lectures by podcast soon in place of live lectures in a theatre. In groups of 250 plus I can see his point: no one ever asks a question in a group of that size, and even if they could, no one else would hear the question! However, smaller groups can sustain a meaningful level of interaction, and often in FE classes, the sum can definitely be greater than the parts.

Dr Ashraf is focusing his time on smaller group tutorials, and will be using a course blog to respond to questions from students. His students can sms questions, and Dr Ashraf will then make the answers available on the course blog. In that way, over time, a ‘frequently asked questions’ list will no doubt emerge, and that can then drive re-drafting of the lecture material. One wonders if the course blogs include any tag cloud features that will promote common questions up the list.

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