Essay Replacing Traditional Lectures

2048 Words 9 Pages
Traditional lectures have long been part of our educational system. They present facts and information in a concise and direct manner, yet, according to some studies, they are inferior to more active teaching methods when it comes to a student’s performance and practical skills. In spite of this, lectures continue to be a large part of most college’s curriculum, were, albeit not used all of the time, still contribute to a big portion of what is being done in class. This presents a critical problem in Computer Science courses, where active solution seeking and team work play an important role in the student’s career. Although courses usually combine lectures with other active-learning activities (such as labs), the time spent in lectures …show more content…
in Powell 236). Indeed, both Cooperative Learning and Practical Problem-Based Learning are more time and resource consuming. Their implementation require a much more active role from the teacher and a much more prepared class. This gives lectures more flexibility in being adapted to other media (such as online courses) because they are cheap to develop and take the least amount of time to implement. These pros, however, are far outweighed by its cons. A survey performed by Hake in 1996 of more than 6000 students showed a significant increase in a physics test score in those that received an engaging education to those that received lectures only. These results also showed that there was a major increase in mechanics-course effectiveness—or hands-on experience (71). In his analysis, O’Grady states that lecturers act only as knowledge transmitters, which limits the development of higher order thinking and advanced reasoning skills (10:2). According to Renaud and Cutts, traditional lectures do not teach students to consider depth and breadth of subjects or how to choose a solution among other reasonable alternatives (cited in Grissom 9:2). These are only but some of the limitations of lectures; a general consensus is that they are too passive and authoritative, making learning a

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