The original use of lectures was to share the content of rare books with students copying as they were read aloud. This evolved into lecturers presenting information on a topic and students making notes. Lectures, and a lot of classroom teaching, is criticised for being generally a one way communication of information from active lecturers/teachers to passive students. With the advent of digital projectors and slideshows that can be shared with students, smart phone cameras to record lecture images, and the use of technology to record and share audio and video of lectures, the importance of transmitting information has greatly diminished. Lectures remain however a convenient and cost effective means of teaching large number of students, and when done well by a skilled performer, can be very engaging.
While lectures are effective in transmitting information, we now understand that learning involves much more than collecting information, and increasingly so as technology makes information access easier. The 'Flipped' approach evolved in response, providing students with access to information via video clips and other resources before the lecture or class, and spending contact time on other learning activities.
To counter the passivity of lectures and incorporate activities other than information transmission, Active Learning techniques have evolved to engage students during the 'lecture' time, including socratic Q&A where students answer questions posed by the lecturer, student response systems to collect answers from large numbers of students quickly, peer discussions, games, debates, reactions to videos, and small group activities.
Effective Action Learning shifts the focus of control from the lecturer/teacher to students. In this course, we will be exploring a wide range of active learning approaches, and this requires that you come mentally prepared to be actively engaged in them.
Step 1. Sit at the front, we will be using the first 5 rows of seats, no more. If you arrive late, ⏰take the walk of shame 😳down to a spare seat in the front 5 rows (usually in the very front row), it is easier than being asked to move to the front. Just try not to be any more disruptive than you have to be, everyone is late sometimes, 🛌but review the lecture video and live stream later, important information about changes are often provided at the very start of a lecture. If you are late because of your coffee order etc., make sure you have brought enough for everybody.
Step 2. There will still be some 'lecturing' and you will need to take notes 📑and one approach to doing this is using the Cornell Note Taking technique. Research shows that active note taking of key concepts assist students in cognitively engaging with these concepts, it helps to physically grow the Neurons in your brain linking various concepts together. There will not be a lot of note taking, but what is will be important. The bulk of information will come from the course notes, video clips and activities you 👩💻will do between lectures, and you will be required for assessment to synthesise this with your lecture notes and build your mental model of the concepts you are learning. We will not be flipping this for lectures and having you prepare before the lecture, though you may certainly find it useful to do so.
Dr Zagami loathes lecturing and didactic teaching, so will be having a robot teaching assistant Nao [aka a slave -Ed.] perform this part of the lecture, while Dr Zagami manages the active learning activities. Please arrive mentally prepared to engage in discussions with your peers, volunteer for demonstrations, engage in learning games, participate in debates, respond to video clips, and have fun. 🎉
Step 3. You will need a personal digital device (smart phone, 📱tablet or laptop 💻) during lectures, and we will be using a student response tool Kahoot! that you should install or bookmark for use during lectures.
To further assist you in your learning, volunteers will be recording and displaying their brainwaves during the lecture and Dr Zagami will be highlighting the influence of various activities and concepts on their brains during the lecture.
If you cannot or prefer not to attend the lectures 😢the slide presentation and audio will be recorded and available on L@G. There will also be a livestream of the lecture to the course Facebook group and you can still participate in the Kahoot! activities remotely. Group activities I leave up to your own ingenuity. 🤷