When I applied for this job, I remember being asked what my perspective was on using video in education, i.e. web lectures.
Do you recognize this situation: you’re talking, answering a question, words are coming out of your mouth, and the sound they make seems reasonable and the people across the table seem to think they are reasonable, but afterwards you have no idea what you said. I had honestly never considered the matter before (shh, let’s keep this hush hush).
Since then I have had a lot more time to think about the matter and hear the different positions people are taking. What about you, web lectures, are you a Yay sayer or Nay sayer? Some arguments in a nutshell:
- A public institute like a Dutch university, funded with public money, should share it’s knowledge with the public.
- Student learning and understanding is increased when s/he can watch a lecture again, captured on video.
- Students with complex schedules or living in remote areas can still take a class and ‘attend lectures’ by watching those caught on film.
- As a principle, knowledge should be captured and shared as much as possible and archived for future generations.
- Lazy students are being produced by filming lectures and allowing them to watch professors from the comfort of their beds at 3 in the afternoon.
- The amount of students attending a lecture decreases when the need to attend the “live performance” decreases. The learning which occurs as a spin off of attending a lecture is lost.
- Students postpone learning until closely before the exam and then cram, also using the web lectures. Cramming is not learning.
I wonder if we aren’t looking at the end of the lecture or monologue, or one-to-many broadcasting, as a format for teaching. As we have seen the media world tipping upside down, the media kings slowly toppled from their thrones, will we see the same in academia? Interaction, dialogue, networking, sharing has become the “new” way to share, communicate… and possibly learn?
But personally and primarily I am most interested in how we can use video, not to continue what we are already doing (broadcast a monologue), but how it can be used to increase interaction and learning. Who dares look critically at the teaching format of a lecture and suggest an alternative?