Three lectures an hour?

Is online provision going to dictate the University timetable in future?

Nice piece in the Chronicle on this.

The story includes an interesting (worrying?!) commentary about a communications lecturer, a Mr Kehoe:

When he teaches an hourlong class, he now breaks his material up into sections so he can stop every 15 minutes or so for a three-minute break, during which he’ll show a comedy video clip from YouTube or another Web site. Those short breaks pay off, he says. “When they move back to listening to me, they’re concentrating in a way they weren’t before.” His students agree. “It made classes feel shorter,” says Adelaida Ortega, a student who graduated from York this month. ” Another of Mr. Kehoe’s recent students, Jessica McCrossan, says the class always looked forward to the “laugh break,” as students called it. “I found it not only helped break the tension and relax us, it helped to bring us closer to the professor as a person.

Or is this just pandering? Isn’t it reasonable to expect students to stay alert for nearly an hour?

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1 thought on “Three lectures an hour?

  1. I wouldn’t call it pandering. Neither am I totally against this style. But I would call it a workaround rather than a solution to an increasing lack of long-term focus.

    The method may work because the students feel like they’re getting three or four lecture sessions instead of one (as your post’s title suggests), plus rewards between each session. Psychologically, it must feel a lot better than completing just one lecture in an hour with no reward. And that’s important as we continue to kid ourselves into thinking we have great multitasking abilities and a need to do a million things in five minutes flat…

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