Flipping the Classroom Along the Other Axis

These two stories on the seismic changes underway in education could be footnotes to the post “Witch Hunt or Reformation?” but they seem to stand well on their own. Anya Kamenetz writing for Fast Company recounts a note from Coursera’s Daphne Koller on putting the student first, a trend that will no doubt gather into […]

Getting Out Of The Way In The Classroom

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and Inverted (or Flipped) Classrooms have been attracting a lot of attention in education and training circles, but two recent experiments performed far from the rarified heights of North American campuses and training centers, are causing many to stop and reassess what it means to learn and, more importantly, what […]

Flatlined During Class

This published finding may not be scientifically significant (N=1) for some applications, but if nothing else it does provoke a chuckle (and a tendency to draw general conclusions without enough supporting data simply because – let’s face it – we’ve all been there). A study published in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering reports data from […]

Shut Up and Teach – Or – Why Science Says the Lecture Is a Bad Idea

The notion of replacing or limiting the venerable lecture has been visited in earlier posts (The Inverted Classroom and The Future of the Lecture) but it seems the topic is far from exhausted. Recent research in cognitive psychology published in the journal Science points to another dimension in the problem of lecturing, namely, that people […]

The Curvilinear Classroom – Is Linearity Optional?

AllThingsD Early Adopters ran a quote in their Voices section from an article at PCPro that reads like a page right out of Marshall McLuhan. Echoing McLuhan’s return of acoustic space and the role of the mosaic in everyday life, Dr Rosie Flewitt of the Open University comments on how the modern learner might be shifting from […]

At a Loss for Words – The Future of the Lecture Might Be in Less Talk

A recent study from researchers Louis Deslauriers, Ellen Schelew and Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman suggests that the Methuselah of instructional technologies, the venerable broadcast lecture, might finally be showing signs of going the way of geocentricity and the four humors. Applying methods taken from the theory of “deliberate practice” by psychologist Anders Ericsson, the research […]

Failure to Connect – Social Media in Class Might Not Work

If you are thinking of using social media in a class to help build useful collaborative connections, retire the fears of shy students and introduce the same engagement you see in sites like Facebook, think again.  A recent study by the Lab for Social Computing at Rochester Institute of Technology suggests that the use of […]

Want to Improve the Classroom? Use e-Learning.

Weighing in on the side of blended learning, Dr. Caroline Haythornthwaite of the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, states that e-Learning may be at its best when used as a tonic to the traditional classroom. “Compared to the more traditional educational paradigm – the broadcast model, where knowledge […]

Do We Really Know How to Teach This Stuff?

I can’t say whether the only course I’ve taken in programming was taught well. This is partially the case because it was so long ago and looking back on it it’s doubtful that anyone had an idea about how to teach such a new subject. It seems in retrospect that the professors and graduate students […]

New Science Points To New Classrooms

In a note that could have been taken from one of Maria Montessori’s books, researchers in neuroscience, machine learning, education and psychology have convened to show that findings from a joint study suggest that “the prepared environment” might be supported by new scientific data. “The ‘prepared environment‘ is Maria Montessori’s concept that the environment can […]

Cutting Class – Online vs. Classroom Learning

A recent report by the US Department of Education will no doubt add fuel to an already raging debate over the virtues and deficiencies of online education. Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning – A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies provides an extensive meta-analysis of data that compare the effectiveness of online […]