dcsimg
You are here:

Microlectures Bring Teaching Up to Speed of Light

Lectures: by and large, not the most enthralling portion of the college experience. Just the idea of a professor in soliloquy for upwards of an hour is enough to put many people off from returning to school. At San Juan College in New Mexico, however, course designers are hard at work, using new ideas and education theory technology to rebuild the lecture, making them better, stronger, and much, much faster.

Take a 60-minute lecture. Cut the excess verbiage, do away with most of the details, and pare it down to key concepts and themes.

What's left? A "microlecture" over in as few as 60 seconds. A course designer for San Juan College, a community college in Farmington, N.M., says that in online education, such tiny bursts can teach just as well as traditional lectures when paired with assignments and discussions.

Short lectures are great (York University in Toronto, for example, has reportedly been experimenting with twenty minute lectures to take the tedious edge off distance learning courses), but sixty seconds sounds way too short to cram in very much knowledge, and there are quite a few skeptics questioning how professors plan to address complex issues like literary analysis or complicated formulas within the limited time frame. However, the professors embracing the format say it has less to do with cramming in knowledge, and more to do with taking the focus off the lecture and spending more time balancing it with active schoolwork.

The format encourages active learning, says David Penrose, a course designer for SunGard Higher Education and online-services manager for San Juan College. He developed the microlectures for San Juan. While the quantity of information that a 60-second microlecture can convey is limited, he said, it primes the student to learn from completing the assignments that follow the microlecture.

"It's a framework for knowledge excavation," Mr. Penrose said. "We're going to show you where to dig, we're going to tell you what you need to be looking for, and we're going to oversee that process."

Individual student reviews are mixed, but the numbers don't lie -- since introducing microlectures into an occupational safety course at San Juan, enrollment skyrocketed to almost 500. With such heavy forces taking interest, expect to see a lot more of this new lecture approach developing in the future.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Stratford Career Institute

    Earn Your Diploma from Home!

    Programs

    • Electrician
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Funeral Service Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Stratford Career Institute Request Info »
  • Simmons College School of Communication

    Communications@Simmons prepares students to become leaders who achieve their organizational, professional, and personal goals through a strategic integration of communications theory and practice.

    ·

    Programs

    • MS in Communication
    Location:
    Boston: , Boston MA 02115
    Simmons College School of Communication Request Info »
  • USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

    The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work
    Location:
    Los Angeles: 3601 Watt Way, GFS-315, Los Angeles CA 90089
    USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Request Info »
  • Syracuse Communications

    Communications@Syracuse is an online Master of Science in Communications from the world-renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
     

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Communications

    Location: Online

    Syracuse Communications Request Info »
  • Simmons College School of Social Work

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons College School of Social Work Request Info »
  • Penn Foster Schools

    Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.

    Programs

    • HVACR Technician
    • Diesel Mechanics
    • Veterinary Assistant
    • More...
    Location:
    Scranton: , Scranton PA 18515
    Penn Foster Schools Request Info »
  • Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway,, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences Request Info »
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

    Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • Master of Public Health
    • Executive Master of Health Administration
    Location:
    Washington: 2121 I St NW, , Washington DC 20052
    Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University Request Info »
  • Unitek College

    Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science Nursing - RN to BSN

    Location: Online

    Unitek College Request Info »
  • Animal Behavior College

    Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Assistant
    • Grooming Instruction
    • Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course

    Location: Online

    Animal Behavior College Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.