October 23, 2007

Note-taking in the Classroom

At my own expense, I was experimenting with not giving out handouts for a lecture. No doubt, the impact upon students' feedback was detrimental.

I was doing that because people confuse 'making notes' with 'understanding.' Throughout all the schooling we were trained to memorise this way and, thus, gain some confidence in our knowledge (which teachers simultaneously destroyed by marking all what was wrong with our work for ten years). A nice illusion, if knowledge was ever present.

Of course, a handout is an anchor that grounds people to a reality of the classroom and make them feel convenient, lost less and sleep more. However, the using of handouts and making of notes is a guarantee that their minds will not be in the classroom. Only in at time T-1 at best. Having a handout cancels a need to read a book - everything is ready, packaged and paid for. I quote, "People read faster than you speak. This means you are useless."

In a business school and environment, you are always expected to have Powerpoint slides and handouts (the more elaborate, the better, of course!). I have much to say about Powerpoint and technology of the classroom but for now... about a million classroom and online presentations are going on at this moment Death by PowerPoint.



Blogger Andrey Kuzmenko said...

So true! Last time at the uni I was really surprised when one of our lecturers from Columbia Uni started explaining things by drawing on a projected transparent paper... It was such a good thing (I thought)! But the feedback from the other students was awful... Btw, have you seen this? http://norvig.com/Gettysburg/index.htm

P.S. av*k* from ΠΆΠΆ

7:48 AM  

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