As an instructor in humanities courses (I teach music history courses), I have struggled with some of the newer, more post-modern methods of incorporating student group work and critical thinking activities in class. Despite clear instructions and rubrics, the number of students who actually complete the required readings or video viewing prior to class in preparation for group discussions is still quite low. I have tried gaming styles of in-class exercises, write-your-own-exam questions activities, and other various flipped course work activities to no avail. Still only approximately one third of the students bother to even access the course materials. I check online.
Another colleague of mine, who teaches history, shared the following New York Times article with me. Quite a bit of it resonates with me. I do believe in the power of strong, informative, and engaging, old-fashioned lectures, especially for humanities courses like mine. I do not simply stand and read from my notes. As with many of my skilled colleagues, I animate my lectures with real-world examples that bring the material to life. As one of the instructors in the article mentioned, by the end of my classes I am a bit sweaty and tired (in a good way).
I would love your thoughts on this article and on the old-fashioned lecture model as well.
Personally, the article was very validating for my style of teaching.
http://nyti.ms/1QEAdWX – NYT Lecture Me. Really.