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Choice of "instructor led" or "student centered" course


Pegasus
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One of DDs courses next semester (physics for engineers) offers two different formats:

1) instructor led discussion of material, practice problems, review questions, problem solving strategies - all in a 450 student auditorium; individual work on homework

2) student centered discussion of material, practice problems, review questions, problem solving strategies - limited to 150 students; group work on homework

Any experience out there?  I thought the first choice was the obvious one but DD is leaning towards the second.

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I am not quite clear what that means without knowing more details. Does option 2 have NO instructor component? There must be some lecture (perhaps by video?) and an instructor for the discussion sections.

I teach engineering physics and have 17 years of experience. I can tell you that nobody learns physics by sitting in a lecture hall - students learn physics when they work problems and discuss concepts.  We have lectures and discussion/problem solving sections and add a voluntary component through learning centers where students work in groups on their homework, with faculty and student tutors present for Socratic teaching. This is where most learning happens.

Based on what you wrote, I would select option 2 without hesitation. You can find lectures online if there is no lecture component (message me and I send you a link to a very good free lecture series that covers the entire semester, with many worked out examples); interactive work on problem solving is very powerful.

Edited by regentrude
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57 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Based on what you wrote, I would select option 2 without hesitation. You can find lectures online if there is no lecture component (message me and I send you a link to a very good free lecture series that covers the entire semester, with many worked out examples); interactive work on problem solving is very powerful.

I just want to put a plug in for the lecture series/tele-course. It's been a phenomenal resource over here. The physics series that regentrude recommends is very good and I usually dislike a videos/tele-courses.

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11 hours ago, regentrude said:

I am not quite clear what that means without knowing more details. Does option 2 have NO instructor component? There must be some lecture (perhaps by video?) and an instructor for the discussion sections.

I teach engineering physics and have 17 years of experience. I can tell you that nobody learns physics by sitting in a lecture hall - students learn physics when they work problems and discuss concepts.  We have lectures and discussion/problem solving sections and add a voluntary component through learning centers where students work in groups on their homework, with faculty and student tutors present for Socratic teaching. This is where most learning happens.

Based on what you wrote, I would select option 2 without hesitation. You can find lectures online if there is no lecture component (message me and I send you a link to a very good free lecture series that covers the entire semester, with many worked out examples); interactive work on problem solving is very powerful.

 

Wow. Thanks, regentrude.  I really value your input and guidance.  This is actually the same course that I posted separately about as a flipped class so yes, they have videos to watch before classtime. Option 2 is referred to as "student centered" and "instructor supported" but to what extent each element is implemented remains to be seen. We don't have any details and this appears to be the first time they've tried this option so we don't have campus scuttlebutt to rely on. Both options also have a separate lab element where they do "hands on" in much smaller groups led by a TA.

I would love to see the lecture series you refer to so will be messaging you.  DD actually already completed the first semester of this physics series (traditional lecture model with hands on lab) so semester two will start addressing additional topics like fluids, electricity/magnetism, etc. 

 

 

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