Why We Must Teach Using Student-Student Interaction.
Feb 13, 2013
3:20PM to 4:20PM
Date(s) - 13/02/2013
3:20 pm - 4:20 pm
Title: Why We Must Teach Using Student-Student Interaction.
Speaker: Dr. Alan Slavin, Trent University
Institute: Trent University
Location: ABB 102
A strong conceptual understanding of physics is the starting point for performing well in the discipline, because students without this ability are forced to rely on blind memorization of both the material and approaches to problem solving. Thirty years of research into teaching in physics shows that students obtain a much better conceptual and analytical understanding of physics if they are taught using methods that employ student-student interaction rather than the traditional lecture-based instruction.
The use of teaching methods that develop collaborative skills among students is also important for developing the skills required for today’s collaborative research, and has become a natural way of learning for students who are already immersed in social-media. Finally, given the impending competition from massive open online courses (MOOCs), interactive teaching could be a major inducement to keep students attending the bricks-and-mortar universities that we have today.
This talk will review some evidence for the improved performance from student-student interaction, both in physics and the humanities, and briefly discuss two methods that we have used at Trent University for over 15 years. Peer Instruction requires students to read the subject material before coming to each class, with class time focussing on student-student interaction to develop their understanding, and Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT), to ensure that students (and the instructor) do come to class prepared. It will then look at an electronics MOOC offered by the MIT-Harvard (edX) consortium and consider the challenges facing our universities from this direction.