Don’t Give Up on the Lecture


Teachers who stand in front of their classes and deliver instruction are not “out-of-touch experts”—they’re role models.

~Abigail Walthausen

Or so argues a recent article in The Atlantic.  The tendency to see lecture-based instruction as alienating and stifling to student creativity  has seen a move towards the “flipped classroom”.  Although it’s not a new concept and has been in practice in some disciplines for over 20 years, the flipped classroom method has recently had a surge in popularity. This may be, in part, due to new technologies that make production of online lectures relatively easy to do.

Flipped learning a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework is now done in class with teacher offering more personalised guidance and interaction with students, instead of lecturing.

~ Wikipedia definition

A recent study from Texas State University’s Physical Therapy program certainly showed a positive outcome when implemented with first year physical therapy students [1]. However, an the article in The Atlantic urges us not to give up on the lecture just yet, after all…

There is a reason TED talks are popular with students and adults alike. They are delivered on engaging topics, by engaging people, and they offer time for reflection by the audience.

Enough said!

[1] Brenda Boucher, Eric Robertson, Rob Wainner, and Barbara Sanders. ”Flipping” Texas State University’s Physical Therapist Musculoskeletal Curriculum: Implementation of a Hybrid Learning Model. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, Fall 2013, Vol 27, No 3.