Education: Higher Education Teaching Methods
I am blessed with having a "Smartroom" which allows me to show videos, Powerpoint presentations and the Internet on a big screen at the front of the room but I also feel that by using all this equipment I am often walking a fine line between showmenship and substance in order to keep my students intrigued. And although you are right about documentaries really improving in the past few years don't professors run the risk of being labeled "Captain Video" if they are caught by the administration showing too many videos in class? If other WAISers have overcome the mass lecture hall syndrome and have sure fired ways of keeping students involved and learning without a 50 minute lecture from the "sage on the stage" I would be very interested in hearing about it.
RH: The documentaries would be watched on the students' own time, not in class. My unfortunate students will remember the method I used in large classes on civilization. Most students are not trained to read carefully. I therefore chose an important work, and before each class they were required to read one chapter carefully. The class would open with my asking 15 short but carefully prepared questions designed to test their comprehension, sense of geography, sense of history, vocabulary, etc. The rest of the time was spent discussing the right answers to the questions. The method gave accurate results, expressing in numbers my assessment of the students. Any hint of favoritism was avoided.
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