When considering options to replace lecture during class time, you could try some of these techniques: Peer Instruction, POGIL, Team Based Learning, Project Based Learning and Just in Time Instruction.
Common among all of these models is a focus on active and collaborative engagement rather than passive note taking. These techniques often include opportunities for students to apply ideas in problem solving, reason in new contexts, practice monitoring their own thinking, explain and defend reasoning and analyze others’ reasoning. Students voice their questions, hear those of others, and realize they are not alone in struggling to master the material. All of these techniques provide feedback to the instructor about students understanding (feedback that is much more frequent than Midterm and Final exams). The instructor can then use this formative assessment to guide teaching and address student misconceptions.
Peer Instruction was developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard in the 1990’s. This well-researched model has been shown to have a positive impact on learning and retention and is also considered to be an energizing alternative to lecture.
In a recent study Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class, a comparison was made between traditional lecture and peer instruction in two large sections (N = 267 and N = 271) of an introductory undergraduate physics course. The traditional lecture course was taught by an experienced and highly rated instructor, and the experimental course was taught by an inexperienced instructor using research- based instruction. In the results, they found increased student attendance, higher engagement, and more than twice the learning in the section taught with research-based instruction.
See this Peer Instruction FAQ for other questions you might have. This brief video shows Mazur in the classroom and Richard Zollars (WSU Chemical Engineering) explains how this method has rejuvenated his teaching in a recent panel discussion.
Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)
In POGIL students have specific roles and work in small groups using carefully designed materials which guide their inquiry.
Samantha Swindell (WSU Psychology) piloted this method in her course and says that it has made her more excited about teaching. Prior to class students listen to a prerecorded lecture, do readings and then create a list of questions on the lecture and readings. Samantha reviews these questions as students work collaboratively on the structured exercises. They then regroup as a class to discuss the answers. Representatives from each group present the groups answers, questions, and thoughts. Samantha addresses misconceptions and responds to questions. At the end of class the group submits a “master form” which includes the structured work questions with the group’s answers.
A LMS like Angel provides many useful tools for flipping your class. Lecture recordings and readings can be posted along with assignments that help you to understand where the students are having trouble. Prior to class, polling and quiz tools can be used to gather information on student questions, misconceptions or confusion. These tools can also be used to prompt an online version of peer instruction; students respond to online concept tests, then use the discussion forum make an argument for the best response. The discussion forums can be used to collect student questions on the reading and lecture materials. They also allow the instructor to respond to important questions once instead of multiple times as in office hours. Students can return to these responses multiple times or ask further questions when needed.
If you would like to know more about implementing some of these ideas in your course please contact the global campus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theron des Rosier