Lessons on Leaving the Lecture Behind

A recent piece from Vermont Public Radio show All Things Considered describes the shift taking place at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine as students arrive for classes this fall: lectures are out, active learning is in. College Dean William Jeffries explains the rationale behind the move. "We're finding out a lot from the neuroscience of learning that the brain needs to accumulate the information, but then also organize it and make sense of it and create an internal story that makes the knowledge make sense. When you just tell somebody something, the chances of them remembering it diminishes over time, but if you are required to use that information, chances are you'll remember it much better." 

While not everyone agrees that leaving the lecture behind is a good move, DCAL's Josh Kim contends that higher education has a few lessons to learn from this shift. Specifically, he says, it is good news that research on learning is making an impact on the teaching process. Further, if the move to active learning is an indicator of more broad-based institutional change, we might look to the professional schools at our institutions to lead the way. Read more from Kim at Inside Higher Ed.

Read the summary article or listen to the recording of the full NPR piece here