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Are Lectures Still Relevant?

Are Lectures Still Relevant?

Tyler Wong                                       

Writing Studies I

Professor Savonick

11/30/18                           

                       Are Lectures Still Relevant?

    For the most part, people expect you to graduate high school and go to college where you can earn a degree to make sure that you get a stable job for your life as an adult. The idea behind this is not wrong but the steps getting there may not be what students are seeking. When I speak of such methods, I’m referring to the teaching methods used in college classes. Nowadays, lectures are prevalent in  college courses. They cost efficiently teach many students at once. The problem behind this principle is that are students still really interested in a class style that lets them have too much freedom?

    For centuries, higher education sought out at  universities has always consisted of the standard lecture style classes revolved around one professor teaching hundreds of students. It seems that it worked for quite a while but up until recently, the lecture style seems to be losing popularity. Why? Students find it that in a large group setting, it’s less engaging with the professor who is just their to read off a powerpoint and drop off some knowledge that may not be as helpful as textbooks or online sources. According to Farber, “ Some medical schools, like Harvard, have done away with lectures for the most part. Instead of spending hours in an auditorium, Harvard students learn the course content at home and the apply the knowledge in mandatory small groups” (Faber). Even when such a prestigious school such as Harvard wants to drop the lecture style classes, it just goes to show that even the elite don’t agree with this style of teaching.

    Students today find lectures not hard but rather tedious to attend and make time for. As said in A Lecture From The Lectured,Because it's rarely just 90 minutes of our day. At a university like ours, where thousands of students compete to fulfill their general-education requirements, it is lecture after lecture after lecture. For three to four hours of our day, we sit in cavernous rooms — with up to 800 strangers — where the professor doesn't know our name, let alone ask us to speak.” (Barone). Professors who teach the lectures seem to have a disconnect with their students as they don’t really have time to converse individually with every student. Professors who don’t even talk to their students give off the vibe that they care less about that class and this causes many students to lose interest in the subject and class altogether. This leads to the drop in attendance of lecture-style classes as well as a drop off of students actually being on the roster for that class. It may just seem easier for students to not even attend the lecture and just read their textbooks and go online to research their homework and study for their tests. I know I have.

    For many educators today, lectures are not only not as efficient as other teaching methods today, they are without a doubt being terminated slowly but surely. As many professional educators see it, the lecture is not incorporating styles in which to help benefit students and to actually let them learn. The focus on new technology being incorporated into classes as well as improving teaching methods of educators has put the lecture style class in danger. Prestigious schools such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have no lectures in physics which is a major science in their school. Not only is that an example of showing how lecture style classes are not efficient, “Getting rid of the college lecture entirely is the mission of a broad group of educators.” U.S as stated in Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture? Carl Wieman, a Stanford Nobel Receiver, believes that an active learning style class yields better results for students. As a student myself, active learning and being able to participate with the class really gets you involved and makes you pay more attention as to what you are doing. Active learning is more suited to the generation of students today as we incorporate much technological use into our daily lives already. Even games like kahoot incorporates a fun way for students to review useful material before a major exam. It’s a catchy and creative example of a style of active learning which helps us learn more and retain useful information.

    As a student, of our modern day schooling, I can see that for myself lecture style classes are not as useful as they are made out to be. Teaching an absurd amount of students without actually getting to know them doesn’t help the fact that students like myself already have almost zero contact when it comes to asking questions in class and getting interactive. Students stuck in lecture style classes tend to just let their mind wander. One thing they are on the learning modules for that lecture, next thing you know, they are watching youtube videos on dogs. Lecture style classes don’t keep up with today's generation and incorporation of technology.

 

Photo Credits to WokandaPix

 

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