Choose the topics of most interest to you to follow under "My Headlines".
Top 5: Why Team Learning > the Lecture
Durham, NC - Duke chemistry professor Steve Craig has given up on textbooks and lectures.
He prefers his Chemistry 43 students spend their class time learning from each other by working in teams to solve problems. When they run into trouble, they can refer to a bevy of multimedia resources Craig has provided or lean on knowledge gleaned from readings they do before class. The resources are available on almost any device -- laptops, desktops, tablets and smart phones.
It's a twist on the traditional method of learning in which a professor lectures, students take notes and then go home and study them.
Here, Craig gives his Top 5 reasons why team-based learning makes sense.
1. More faculty-student interaction
Instead of using class time to deliver what I believe students need to hear, the majority of my in-class energy is spent responding to specific questions raised by students who have already struggled with a topic. In a lecture class, these interactions are limited to office hours, but with team-based learning, they constitute a much larger fraction of my face time with students. These interactions are enjoyable, and they give me a better sense of how the whole group is processing the material each time we meet.
2. More student-student interaction
The TeamLEAD program at the Duke Singapore medical school showed that team-based learning actively enhances the availability of one of the greatest assets of a Duke education: the knowledge, insight and curiosity of other Duke students. Because Duke students are so talented, these peer interactions do more than build collaborative problem-solving skills; they provide more honest exchanges and more accessible explanations than happen between me and individual students.
3. More challenges
One of the great pleasures for me has been to see how quickly the barriers to openly challenging a concept or answer have dropped, relative to a large lecture class. I suspect this comes both from the substantial time spent in small group discussions, and from the new role I play in class: less as the source of content, and more as someone who facilitates understanding.
4. More variety
I've always enjoyed lecturing, and there's a part of me that very much misses the exhilaration that comes with lecturing on a topic that I really enjoy. But it has been great fun to work combination demonstration-problems (with my talented colleague Dr. Ken Lyle), case studies and student design projects into class time, where I can be involved in the discussion.
5. More flexibility
The burden of covering a certain set of topics is met prior to class, and so the activities and interactions during class time can be weighted (and adjusted on the fly) toward those that are most valuable or interesting to the class.
© 2013 Office of News & Communications
615 Chapel Drive, Box 90563, Durham, NC 27708-0563
(919) 684-2823; After-hours phone (for reporters on deadline): (919) 812-6603