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Topic: lectures vs. other types of learning
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Murphy Waggoner

Posts: 52
Registered: 12/6/04
lectures vs. other types of learning
Posted: Jul 2, 1995 2:31 PM
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I have enjoyed the discussion about cooperative learning, lecturing, etc.
However, "cooperative learning" is too all inclusive and even "lecturing"
is not clear. Here are a few quick comments.

I appreciated the "6 minutes" message (sorry I don't remember who wrote
it). I said in my message that I lecture (and when I say lecture I mean
that I am talking with an occasion student question about clarity) for 5 to
10 minutes at a time and the rest of the time the students are working on
their own. I use these short lectures to help break up the students' work
although I don't schedule the short lectures regularly.

There are so many different types of cooperative learning being mentioned:
peer instruction, in class peer review, cooperative class work in
conjuction with discovery learning, cooperative class work without
discovery learning, etc. There are also many different versions of
lecturing. Maybe each of us should be more specific about the type of
instruction we are talking about.

My major concern about lecturing (with its many variations) is the ability
for insecure students to express their ideas. When I have students do work
together in class (they are doing some predetermined task (like graphing
functions using the derivatives)) I move from group to group to see what
progress or difficulties has occurred. In this way I get to speack to each
student sometime during the class and am able to elicit responses for all
students. The students feel more free to express their ideas within the
bubble of a private conversation with me rather than in class during a

Finally, I also appreciate references made to the literature available on
cooperative learning (again, I apologize for not knowing the name(s) of the
sources of these references). If anyone else have a particular good
resource, I would like to see it posted.

Thanks again for the ongoing discussion.

Murphy Waggoner
Department of Mathematics
Simpson College
701 North C Street
Indianola, IA 50125

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