Instructional technology

Just goes to show you the value of immediate feedback.  From The Detroit News.

Study: It's not teacher, but method that matters
A study by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist — now a science adviser to President Barack Obama — suggests that how you teach is more important than who does the teaching.

He found that in nearly identical classes, Canadian college students learned more from teaching assistants using interactive tools than from a veteran professor giving a traditional lecture. The students who had to engage interactively using the TV remote-like devices scored about twice as high on a test compared with those who heard the normal lecture, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

The interactive method had almost no lecturing. It involved short, small-group discussions, in-class "clicker" quizzes, demonstrations and question-and-answer sessions. The teachers got real-time graphic feedback on what the students were learning and what they weren't getting.

"It's really what's going on in the students' minds rather than who is instructing them," said lead researcher Carl Wieman of the University of British Columbia, who shared a Nobel physics prize in 2001. "This is clearly more effective learning. Everybody should be doing this. ... You're practicing bad teaching if you are not doing this."


TTDaVeTT said…
This is very interesting, it seems that self quizzing when learning new material on your own is effective as well. I have developed a flash card based learning tool that embraces this idea. It is called WordStash ( and it allows students to make digital flash cards and quiz themselves on material that they are learning.

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