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Response to UA article: Students prefer good lectures over the latest technology in class

This is a response to this article by Leo Charbonneau in University Affairs Nov. 21, 2012

This article turns the  report on its head. This type of reporting on research studies is quite common in the mainstream press, but is unbecoming of University Affairs. The reporter fails to mention that the majority of both teachers and students like technology in the classroom. And then tries to turn this report into one that is anti-technology.
The fact is that If students want to listen to a professor who’s engaging, who’s intellectually stimulating and who delivers the content to them, then that leaves out many if not most of the classroom lectures that can be mediocre at best, and opens up great possibilities for online video lectures from the world's most stimulating instructors. So he cannot used the fact that students like stimulating lectures to argue against online teaching. The report doesn't make that extrapolation.
This study is about the use of technology in the classroom not online and reflects some disappointment of how technology is being used by instructors in that milieu. The study therefore shows that we need to understand better the benefits and pitfalls of classroom teaching if we want to stay on that "bandwagon"  rather than a critique of online learning.
It should be noted that the report is downloadable with a Creative Commons licence, but the authors also include a statement that it cannot be reproduced without permission. The CC they invoke negates this need for permission AND so does fair dealing.


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