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This Week at the Center: May 15, 2014

Home > News & Updates > This Week at the Center: May 15, 2014

Many of our conversations this week have involved the question “Can online courses teach us anything about successful teaching strategies for face to face classes?” The answer has turned out to be “yes,” in discussions as diverse as our popular rewirED series for faculty on flipping the classroom and a special edition of our Conversations on Online Learning series featuring Columbia professor and World Science U MOOC developer Brian Green in conversation with Claudia Dreifus.

Understanding the pedagogical benefits from designing a course or course materials such as lectures for an online format has been one of key goals driving our staff’s work with courses in our Online Learning initiative. As we have discovered from our work with faculty partners like biochemistry professor Brent Stockwell, moving course content online can improve the quality of face to face classroom time by giving instructors student feedback they can use to tailor their approach to material. (Read Prof. Stockwell’s account of his work with CCNMTL to flip his classroom in the May issue of ASBMB Today.)

Our experience is consistent with recent studies that have found lecturing alone to be a much less effective teaching strategy than combining lectures with active learning components such as group problem solving and polling. Many instructors who put their lectures online like Stockwell and Brian Greene say that they find this gives them more time to focus on their students’ learning needs and how best to meet them. Perhaps most importantly, the technology necessary to try these strategies is common, simple, and easy to implement.

Also this week: The Center’s faculty partnerships were featured in two blog posts in addition to Prof. Stockwell’s. Cate Crowley, professor of speech-language pathology at Teachers College, used her Leaders Project website, developed in concert with CCNMTL, as the basis of a post for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) blog, ASHAsphere. And Dawne Bear-Novicoff, a senior program officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation, wrote a blog post describing how the eLearning Faculty Fellowship supports the Foundation’s mission to advance and to explore new technologies in Jewish education.