Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Student Engagement....

Are students getting dumber or are the academics working with them just getting more out of touch with those they teach? That debate has been hanging around for a while and now the noise level is increasing by more than a few decibles.

--Dumber Students Or Out Of Touch Academics

By StevenB on thomas_benton

"For example, I have continued to lecture in many of my courses, but I have gradually learned to make lectures more stimulating and interactive by weaving together multiple threads of analysis using images, video, audio, artifacts, and readings — and asking the students to perform those readings. The lectures are designed to make a sustained argument, but they also have multiple points of entry, so that students are not lost after a momentary lapse of attention. Added to that are intervals of rest — in which concentration can slacken for a few minutes, as concepts are considered and discussed — before the harder analysis is resumed.

Such lectures have to be carefully prepared, but they are also spontaneous, and always open to interaction, because that's what enables students to make connections on their own." (Benton)

This is a thoughful response to the issue, and bears reading. In view of Butler's new grant to look at student engagement, we could start the research here.

--Micaela

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