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
  • University of San Francisco

    If you want to make the world a better place, start at the University of San Francisco. Our 21st-century mission to create a more humane and just world comes alive in our diverse learning community and is broadened by our global orientation. You are challenged to reach higher standards and to use your education to promote justice and serve the common good. At the University of San Francisco, youll find the excellence inherent in an institution established over 150 years ago, and inherent in nearly five centuries of Jesuit education.

    Programs

    • Online Associate Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
    • Online Bachelor Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
    • Master of Public Administration
    Location:
    San Francisco: 2130 Fulton St, , San Francisco CA
    University of San Francisco Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Miller-Motte College

    Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

    Programs

    • Criminal Justice - Associate of Applied Science
    • Electronic Medical Records - Associate of Applied Science
    • IT Support Specialist - Associate of Applied Science
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Miller-Motte College Request Info »
  • Bradley University

    Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

    Programs

    • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
    • Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
    • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
    • More...
    Location:
    Peoria: 1501 W Bradley Ave, Peoria IL 61625
    Bradley University Request Info »
  • Simmons College School of Social Work

    SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work program offered through the Simmons School of SocialWork, the nation’s oldest school of social work. Complete your MSW in as little as 15 months with this CSWE-accredited program. No GRE required.

    Programs

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

    The University

    With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

    Programs

    • MSN Leadership in Healthcare Systems
    • Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
    • RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Educator
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Jacksonville University Request Info »
  • Logan University

    Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.

    Programs

    • Doctor of Health Professionals Education
    • Master of Science - Sports Science & Rehabilitation
    • Master of Science - Nutrition & Human Performance
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Logan University Request Info »
  • American University

    Change the World with American University

    Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

    Programs

    • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Mangement
    • Master of Science in Measurement & Evaluation
    • Master of Science in Nutrition Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    American University Request Info »
  • Northcentral University

    Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

    Programs

    • International Business - D.B.A.
    • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
    • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
    • More...
    Location:
    San Diego: 2488 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego CA 92106
    Northcentral University 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.