Lectures bore students, and yet most professors continue to teach as they were taught, reports the Washington Post.
Some professors use PowerPoint, which they think matches their students’ lifestyles. But others say that’s “making a bad thing worse.”
Students spend all their time scribbling down what’s on the PowerPoint presentation, they say, and that leads professors to structure lessons around the visual presentation rather than creating a lecture with a beginning, middle and end that tells a story and can excite students.
The clicker, a remote control students can use to answer questions, encourages interactivity.
Last week, (University of Maryland Physics Professor Edward) Redish asked the students to use the clickers to state whether the acceleration in an experiment was positive, negative, zero or impossible to know. Within 10 seconds, he knew that most students had chosen incorrectly.
“Eighty-six percent got the wrong answer,” he said. “Physics is about data. Our first intuition is not quite right. We have to modify our intuition.”
Students say clickers keep them engaged, if not entertained.
“I feel like I’m in ‘ask the audience’ on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire,’ ” said Landon Katz, 18, a freshman.
I remember sitting in the lecture hall calculating how much tuition I was paying per minute of boredom.