Faculty gather to discuss “Lecture as a Tool for Learning”

By Cecilia Lo

On October 24, 2014, faculty met to discuss “Lecture as a Tool for Learning” in a Faculty Roundtable, co-sponsored by the Chicago Center for Teaching and ASTS.  The purpose of the Roundtables is to discuss good pedagogical practices and encourage instructors to share effective pedagogical tools.

In this Roundtable, faculty from different disciplines—from East Asian languages to genetics—discussed whether lecture is effective, when and why lecture is effective, and how to lecture well.  Laurens Mets, Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, shared his experience of using student response systems (e.g. clickers, Top Hat) in his genetics class to make lecture a more engaging experience for students.  In the video clip below, you can watch him discuss the pedagogical challenge he faced, how using the technology helped his students to achieve the learning goals, and a demonstration of some effective questions he used. 

Mets found that with the use of student response systems his students are better able to apply genetic concepts to situations they have not encountered before and that class performance correlated with clicker participation.  The use of the system was useful for tracking student comprehension and framing strategies for assessment. Further, students reported that the use of the system helped them stay engaged.  Mets also discussed the challenges of using student response system—it is difficult to create good questions and keeping track of the device-loaning can be time consuming.

Join the Next Conversation

Faculty Roundtable: New Tools for Assessment, Feedback, and Grading
Friday, November 14, 2014, 12:00–1:30 PM, TECHB@R
Info and RSVP: http://cctroundtable3.eventbrite.com

Further Reading

Eric Mazur’s Interactive/Peer Learning Method (mentioned in the video)