Students say they prefer lectures, but “active learning” is more effective

A recent study measured differences in student learning, comparing the results of traditional lectures (where the students sit passively while the instructor connects all the dots for them) and active learning (where the students get guidance, but have to connect the dots themselves). Students gave lower ratings to instructors who made them think harder and taught them more. They preferred an instructional method that actually taught them less. In a…

What Critics of Student Writing Get Wrong

  [T]o improve as writers, students need to write frequently, for meaningful reasons, to readers who respond as actual readers do — with interest in ideas, puzzlement over lack of clarity or logic, and feedback about how to think more deeply and write more clearly to accomplish the writer’s purposes. There is no shortcut… When opinion columnists opine that “our students can’t write,” they mean that students can’t put together…

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Where Silence Has Lease (TNG Rewatch: Season 2, Episode 2)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. The Enterprise spends a lot of time in a budget-saving black void, where the crew scans things, searches databases, launches a probe, navigates in circles, gives up, sets a self-destruct timer, philosophizes about death, shuts off the timer, and warps away. I had never seen this episode before, so technically for me this isn’t a “rewatch.” I found the opening…

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The Case for Slow Journalism: When to Unplug from the Endless News Cycle

Often when I see people in my social media feed criticizing “the media,” they are unfairly blaming journalists for how the social media ecosystem misuses journalism. Here’s an example from a post by someone arguing that CNN is being unfairly biased against Bernie Sanders. The complaint is that CNN criticizes Sanders for making a claim that a different CNN story seems to support. If you already believe that CNN is…