Have big university lectures gone out of fashion?
We loved this article by The Guardian about big university lectures being outdated, and students today requiring a “blended learning” approach involving engagement and ideas. University lectures can work for some, of course, but what we’re seeing more and more are students that feel uninvolved in lectures, and do their work and thinking outside of class using textbooks and online resources.
“Most lectures, let’s face it, aren’t so compelling. And the model of the ‘sage on the stage’ is now seen as somewhat outmoded – or at least, as only one way, and not always the best, of teaching students.
Increasing numbers of universities are now using blended learning on degree courses, and some academics predict that it’s the model of the future. But what is it exactly, what does it mean for students, and does it help them learn any better than the old-fashioned hand-cramping method of taking notes for an hour four times a week?
Blended learning, explains Mike Boxall, higher education expert at PA Consulting Group, involves using a diverse range of teaching methods and resources to offer more effective learning experiences. Each activity will ideally be designed around the circumstances and learning styles of different student groups.
‘In practice, the term gets applied to a wide range of approaches,’ Boxall says, ‘from the Open University model – consisting mainly of online courses supplemented by face-to-face seminars in local centres, access to personal tutors and self-organising support groups – to ‘flipped’ classroom models where students are expected to master the content of courses in their own time and then attend small group discussions and seminars to consolidate understanding and application of the course materials.'”