The Institutional Path for Change in This Age: Andragogy, not Pedagogy
In pedagogy, which is associated with teaching children, the primary focus is to transmit content. In andragogy, which is associated with teaching adults, the concern is instead with facilitating the acquisition of the content. In his article, Mr. Batson makes the case that the traditional model of teaching through pedagogy has been outdated and should be replaced by a more effective combination of andragogy and evidence-based learning. For those who are interested, here are some principles of the prescribed method:
- Letting learners know why something is important to learn
- Showing learners how to direct themselves through information
- Relating the topic to the learners’ experiences
- People will not learn until they are ready and motivated to learn
- Requires helping them overcome inhibitions, behaviors, and beliefs about learning
Professors Use Game-Show Format to Help Students Review for Exams
Professors at various community colleges have found that using technologies and software that stimulates game shows in the classroom appears to improve student motivation and participation, given that there are proper incentives. Some of the technological tools being used are: electronic buzzers, Gameshow Prep, and the Angel course-management system.
Avoiding the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Using Blogs with Students
The author describes his experience with using blogs in graduate-level classes. He believes that they can be very useful in learning, but only when the students actually believe the same thing as well. The ones that are disinclined to use blogs, he has found, see them as either more busy work or dislike the aspect of making their ideas public. Their objections stem from the five common mistakes he has identified and he explains how to deal with each one. The five mistakes are:
- Ineffective Contextualization
- Unclear Learning Outcomes
- Misuse of the environment
- Illusive grading practices
- Inadequate time allocation
From the Reconsidering Authority in Wikipedia World article in The Wired Campus, comment 14 by “JQ Johnson.”
One of my favorite exercises in an advanced undergraduate or early graduate course is to assign the students the task of reviewing wikipedia articles relevant to the topic of the seminar, and correct an error, citing appropriate academic (but layman-accessible) sources. This not only improves the quality of the encyclopedia, but it teaches the students about what in their topic area is controversial or misunderstood in the popular literature. And not incidentally it makes the students feel good about their contribution to the advancement of knowledge.
Interaction and engagement are often limited by class size and human dynamics (a few students may dominate the conversation while most avoid interaction). Interaction and engagement, both important learning principles, can be facilitated with clickers. Clickers can also facilitate discipline-specific discussions, small work-group cooperation, and student-student interactions. Clickers—plus well-designed questions—provide an easy-to-implement mechanism for enhancing interaction. Clicker technology enables more effective, more efficient, and more engaging education.