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Duh. All over the world university tech people are meeting and telling each other how obviously superior laptops and PowerPoints and cell phones and clickers are to a compelling, knowledgeable lecturer. At many schools, they’re really shoving this stuff down faculty throats.

But whenever people bother asking students whether they appreciate dragging this crap into the classroom and looking at a lecturer’s neck as she bends over her PowerPoint, they say no. Actually, no; they don’t appreciate it.


UD thanks Jack.

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2 Responses to ““Dr. Venkatesh says this goes against much of what he hears at professional development workshops that stress interactive learning strategies, often using technology.””

  1. Contingent Cassandra Says:

    The other point, of course, is that students don’t really like “interactive” learning — i.e. approaches where they have to do a good deal of the work. This is less-good, if equally unsurprising, news. I’m still very much in favor of interactive learning strategies, but/and suspect that it’s easier (and hence more effective) to nudge students in that direction in a face to face classroom (preferably one with not too many people in it) than online. It *can* be done online (I’ve done it, reasonably effectively, I think), but it’s labor-intensive, in part because overcoming the resistance by some means — usually a combination of grading pretty much everything and personalized, clearly useful response to significant portions of that work — e.g. ones designed to move an individual project forward — is necessary. Maybe a very clever professor can turn clicker data, or its online equivalent, into some form of equally useful/engaging feedback, but I have my doubts. I’m hearing more and more from students that they realize that they don’t have the self-discipline to take online classes. Some can’t even handle hybrid ones. That’s a useful insight on their parts, and/but bodes ill for transferring significant portions of the university curriculum, especially the big “commodity courses,” into relatively impersonal online formats.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Cassandra: Yes – the whole complex business of professors as human beings whom students, let us say, respect or find intriguing or find provocative or want to emulate or want to impress or want to shock, etc. – this whole pedagogically rich human/intellectual interaction is of course simply gone in online-land.

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