Day 137: Down with Lecture

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Recently I have been doing a lot of whiteboarding via whiteboard speed dating as well as problem solving without presentations. Today I decided to go back to presentations just to change things up, and I learned two things. 1) Presentations are worth the time, both because of the conversations but also because I learn what misconceptions students have and can guide them in the right direction. 2) Lecture is bad.

I say lecture is bad because of this group above. I had done an example yesterday to introduce solving problems using momentum bar charts, and in doing so I did a problem where two carts stuck together at the end of the problem. I showed students that because they had the same velocity, you could combine the two bars together to make one bar with the total mass as the height and the velocity as the width. The group above generalized that particular scenario and thought they should always draw the bars together. Students will, at no fault of their own, take what I say and misconstrue it as it is applied to other scenarios. They tend to do this far less with clever solutions and diagrams that their peers present, however.

Always good to be reminded of why I teach the way I do.

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