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Sunday, June 28, 2015

University of Adelaide is phasing out lectures

We don't like lectures, says Adelaide uni chief. University of Adelaide is phasing out lectures in favour of online learning and small-groups.  

University of Adelaide vice chancellor Warren Bebbington says lectures are not a good way to teach. 
Photo: The University of Adelaide 

Lectures are obsolete, says University of Adelaide vice-chancellor Warren Bebbington.

"My view is they're gone; they're never coming back," he said as he described his university's experience in replacing lectures with online learning.

If students can get the material online, they are not going to come to lectures, he said.

Last year Adelaide began a major shift in its teaching program, beginning to phase out traditional lectures and replacing them with online learning integrated with small-group work.

The aim in the initial year was for every first-year student to have at least one small-group discovery experience, Professor Bebbington said. In the event they reached 82 per cent of first-year students last year.

He considers it a success. "The retention rate went up and the overall satisfaction rate went up," he said.

The small-group experiences are what it known as "blended learning" or "flip the classroom" – a new style of teaching that many universities worldwide are experimenting with...

The University of Adelaide's free courses on edX are also used within the university as part of its small-group discovery initiative.

MIT is also on the small-group discovery path and Adelaide has had a visit from then chancellor Eric Grimson (one of MIT's senior academic officers) to discuss this learning revolution.

Professor Bebbington said MIT had gone even further than Adelaide and abolished academic office hours, where students are able to see their lecturers.
Instead, lecturers are rostered on to be available in the student hub.
Read more... 

Related link
Vice Chancellor's Blog - Professor Warren Bebbington