Monday, 31 August 2009

Passive Learning


Just read an interesting blog post Kicking Powerpoint to the Curb. In it, there is this statement:

“Strangely enough, the people who are most resistant to this model are the students…Students have been socialized to view the educational process as essentially passive."

There is a tension here between what we perceive your average young person is used to and motivated to use, i.e. Web 2.0/social media and this statement. Passive learning is how things are done in the didactic world and it's actually less effort day-to-day for the students to experience this. For me, this is the main problem with lecture and didactic teaching. You can get away with not listening and therefore not learning. This is easy path and many look for it. With Web 2.0, it's the ethos that I am attracted to more than anything else - the collaboration and active participation in the process. Forcing someone to do this forces them to pay attention. So, although your average students is used to using Web 2.0/social media they are not accustomed to the active learning that it's use in education would entail. This isn't an argument for not pursuing this route. On the contrary, forcing them to active learn is a vital step forward for education.

Higher education actually has a tougher job because it probably isn't the case at the moment that your average student is so clued up on Web 2.0 as the younger generation. This is particular true in my case where the demographic is often a higher age group.

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