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Teaching Generation NeXt: Methods and Techniques for Today’s Learners

Move Content Learning Out of Class

Class time is too valuable to spend delivering content, most of which is readily available and accessible by students out of class. Besides the traditional textbook (and newer, less-­traditional textbook), content is often available in media forms like webcasts and voiced-­over slide shows. These new media can be much more attractive to students than a traditional lecture and offer a level of credibility to “digital learn-­ ers” (Coates 2007;; Prensky 2001a, 2001b;; Tapscott 2009). Beyond content, out-­of-­class resources can also be used to introduce and demonstrate skills.

For those faculty who believe that their own explanations of content, demonstration of skills, and rationale for the importance of the course are superior or more appropriate for their students than the available online resources, many opportunities to package content are available. It should be stressed that “lecture capture”—making the traditional in-­class delivery of content to passive students available out of class—is not advocated. Faculty should identify and develop content delivery available to students in preparation for class.

Techniques and Resources to Move Content Out of Class Online resources are available from

  • Schools–like MIT (http://ocw.mit.edu/about/ocw-­consortium/), Yale (http://oyc.yale.edu/), and the Community College Consortium (http://oerconsortium.org/)

  • Popular sites–like iTunes University (http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-­u/) and You Tube Edu (http://www.youtube.com/education?b=400)

  • Organization sites–like the Open Learning Initiative (http://oli.web.cmu.edu/openlearning/), the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/), and Open Content (http://www.opencontent.org)

Traditional resources also exist. Most instructors still require students to purchase expensive (though often unused) textbooks to use for out-­of-­class preparation. School libraries remain vital sources of valuable learning resources.

Faculty-­created resources include

  • Video capture tools–like Camtasia (http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/), Mediasite (http://www. sonicfoundry.com/default.aspx), and Tegrity (http://www.tegrity.com/)


  • Voice-­over options in popular presentation software–like Microsoft PowerPoint for PC platforms and iWork Keynote for Macs

Create the Necessity of Preparing for and Attending Class

Many students have been successful in high school (and even other college-­level classes) without doing out-­of-­class preparation, relying instead on faculty to tell them everything they need to know during class. While this in-­class lecture delivery is arguably effective in delivering content, it is ineffective in bringing about meaningful, lasting learning for content retention, skills development, or helping students come to YDOXH WKH FRXUVH /HFWXUH DOVR ¿OOV FODVV WLPH WKDW FRXOG EH XVHG IRU PRUH HIIHFWLYH OHDUQLQJ DFWLYLWLHV Many college students are successful without even attending class diligently. The challenge is to make

A Collection of Papers on Self-­Study and Institutional Improvement, 2011

© 2011 Higher Learning Commission. All rights reserved.


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