Death of the Lecture Hall, Part 2

Do students learn more in a physics MOOC than in a traditional lecture class?  An MIT study says yes (some), but the same study says that “interactive engagement pedagogy” like the SCALE-UP model used for FSU’s studio physics program is much more effective than MOOC’s and traditional lecture courses.


That’s according to a paper in the September 2014 issue of The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (Colvin et al.).  The MIT team measured student learning gains and compared them to those reported for traditional lecture classes and interactive engagement classes by Hake [American Journal of Physics, Vol. 66, pg. 64-74 (1998)].

The conclusion I’d like you to draw from this?  We should not spend one more penny on building new large lecture halls.  If an instructor wants to deliver a non-interactive learning experience, she or he should MOOC it.

Perhaps the money saved on $10,000 per seat lecture halls can be invested in facilities purpose-built for interactive engagement pedagogies.

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