Some schools looking at alternatives to traditional lectures

In an attempt to make degree programs more attractive to students filling out college applications, some schools are searching for alternatives to traditional lectures, according to The Washington Post.

Faculty at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Maryland, Harvard University in Massachusetts and George Washington University in Washington, D.C., are all experimenting with new ways to interact with students and make learning more engaging. Some academic leaders say that traditional lectures are a turn-off for many students, and are contributing to fewer individuals enrolling in science and engineering degree programs.

"Just because teachers say something at the front of the room doesn’t mean that students learn," said Diane Bunce, a lecturer at Catholic University, as quoted by the news outlet. "Learning doesn’t happen in the physical space between the instructor and the student. Learning happens in the student’s mind."

According to a report conducted by researchers at JHU, approaches such as online lectures, one-on-one tutoring, problem-solving sessions and peer discussions can all be as effective as traditional techniques, if not more so.

What do you think about lectures? Would they put you off filling out a college application for a particular school or major?

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