In Defense of the Lecture

Michael Feldstein, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Sept 07, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Feldstein's take (and to a large degree I agree): " We don’t have a clear understanding of all the things that a good lecture accomplishes, and therefore we often lose valuable elements of student support when we try to replace it. This has pretty serious implications for MOOCs, flipped classrooms, personalized learning, and a wide array of pedagogical approaches that replace a traditional in-person lecture with something else." As Feldstein notes, lectures are live and in person. hey may revolve around content, but they involve a certain degree of interplay with the audience - a good lecturer judges response, prior knowledge, attentiveness, and the like, and adjusts accordingly. Good lecturers break up the content, pause, crack a joke, give the audience time to adapt. They create emotional synergy and convey their enthusiasm for a topic. These matter.

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