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Better Learning Through Bite Sized Chunks?

June 8, 2010 16:02:45.732

This is interesting to me - the short video lectures on a wide range of subjects that Salman Khan has put together. On a very narrow topic (Cincom Smalltalk), I've been doing something similar since 2006 - short videos to cover a small topic area. The contrast between typical education and this approach is stark:

Watching his videos highlights how little the Web has changed higher education. Many online courses at traditional colleges simply replicate the in-person model—often in ways that are not as effective. And what happens in most classrooms varies little from 50 years ago (or more). Which is why Mr. Khan's videos come as a surprise, with their informal style, bite-sized units, and simple but effective use of multimedia.

It takes a motivated person to learn via self paced instruction, but I wonder - how much do unmotivated people learn in a University setting? A lot of the people I went to school with spent much of their time partying - they could have done that on their own dime, instead on mom and dad, or a student loan. Maybe it's time to really examine how useful the standard lecture approach to education is.

BarCamps are blowing up the traditional conference; maybe it's time something blew up the traditional school the same way...

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posted by James Robertson

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