This post is a slight detour from my usual educational technology based around use and uses in higher education, but this video from Charles Jennings of the Internet Time Alliance does have impact and relevance to those of us working and supporting higher education.
In it Charles talks about workplace learning and how much is retained at different times: “any one of us will forget about half of what we’ve been told within an hour of being told it, unless we have the opportunity to put that into practice within that hour.”
So, what do think happens to students who sit through an hour lecture? Charles talks about informal learning and the benefits over a formal structured class (with tests) on workplace learning. If we think about the College or University as the ‘workplace’ then are we fulfilling our obligation to provide adequate learning environments for the students (and their own personal learning styles)?
There is also a train of thought here that, if we are preparing students for the modern workplace then should our teaching styles (and technology, and implementation, and approach, and ‘assessment’) reflect this workplace too? Does you have to sit through a 1 hour lecture, at the same time every week for 10-12 weeks, before you are expected to produce the report for your manager? When students leave us are they fully prepared for the workplace? We might get them ready for the subject field or specialism (if they follow their degree subject into a job) but are they prepared for ‘work’?
“”You’ll never get a learning organisation [universities?] if you’re continually pushing content at people and expecting them to learn. Learning organisations only emerge once people, individuals, start to pull learning when they need it, where they need it, where it’s going to be most effective for them, and when they’ve got problems to solve.”