Sunday, May 27, 2012

Reflections on the semester

I have now just about finished working three whole semesters at the University of Ghana. In that time I have taught almost 300 students. I feel I probably could have taught a smaller number of students better. I have still not figured out any way to teach other than lecturing and assigning readings. I know many people say lecturing is an ineffective way of teaching. But, with classes ranging from 83 to 120 students and everything geared towards the final exam I have still not figured out any viable alternatives.


Walt Richmond said...

I lecture a lot in some courses, and my students frequently say on their evaluations that they learned more in my course than any other. I think it's a matter of being well-organized. If you're not, it's impossible to take notes and the student doesn't learn.

J. Otto Pohl said...

What students like and what is effective in teaching them are not always the same. Here students want lectures, but the pedagogical literature suggests that lecturing is not the best way to teach. Unfortunately, their suggested alternatives are all impossible to implement given my institutional constraints.

Walt Richmond said...

It does depend on the class size and the course. In your case I can't see any alternative. The classes where I lecture a lot are generally 30+, where other approaches aren't feasible either. As for the research on new pedagogical methods, I'm a bit of an agnostic.