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
  • Boston University - MSW

    Founded in 1839, Boston University is one of America’s largest and most respected private research universities. It offers a unique combination of academic excellence and social relevance for its more than 32,000 students from 135 different countries.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work - Macro
    • Master of Social Work - Clinical
    • Master of Social Work

    Location: Online

    Boston University - MSW Request Info »
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Programs

    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
    • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • George Washington University

    At the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences, we prepare progressive leaders across disciplines to meet the challenge of developing and delivering health care to diverse populations. Our flexible, online programs are designed to advance the careers of health professionals in the areas of Clinical Research Administration, Health Care Quality and Regulatory Affairs.

    Programs

    • Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design
    • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
    • Graduate Certificate in E-Learning
    • More...

    Location: Online

    George Washington University Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates

    Location: Online

    Platt College Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • DHS - Advanced Program Evaluation & Data Analytics
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • MS - School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Intercoast Colleges

    Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

    Programs

    • Business Technology
    • Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
    • Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies

    Location: Online

    Intercoast Colleges Request Info »
  • Winthrop University

    Winthrop University is a public, comprehensive university located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 

    Programs

    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Arts Administration
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Winthrop University Request Info »
  • Wake Forest University

    Study at Wake Forest University, a university dedicated to educating the whole person since 1834.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling
    • Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health
    Location:
    Winston Salem: 1834 Wake Forest Rd, , Winston Salem NC 27106
    Wake Forest University Request Info »
  • Argosy University

    Welcome to Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

    Programs

    • Psychology (BA) (Online)
    • Business Administration - Accounting (BS) (Online)
    • Business Administration - Healthcare Management (BS) (Online)
    • More...
    Location:
    Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Ave., Phoenix AZ 85021
    Argosy University Request Info »
  • The University of Scranton

    The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs. You can choose one of five degree programs from a selective institution ranked among the top 10 master’s universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report.

    Programs

    • MBA - Operations Management
    • Master of Accountancy
    • Master of Business Administration
    • More...

    Location: Online

    The University of Scranton 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.