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The personal blog of Al Stevens. Focus is overrated.


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Today’s New York Times has an article titled At M.I.T., Large Lectures Are Going the Way of the Blackboard. It summarizes MIT physics department courses that use Technology Enhanced Active Learning, or TEAL. The article reports that, while replacing lectures with TEAL encountered resistance, attendance in classes is up and failure rates have dropped by more than 50 percent.

A slightly more detail article is available at Teal Teaching in MIT Spectrum, Winter 2004.

The approach was spearheaded by John Belcher, who is quoted in the Spectrum article as saying that TEAL students make gains nearly double those of their counterparts in standard classes.

Course materials, photos of the classroom and interactive visualizations are at Visualizing Electricity and Magnetism at MIT.  The content is available for free used for non-profit educational purposes, as long as an acknowledgment is given to the MIT TEAL/Studio Physics Project.

Written by Al Stevens

January 13th, 2009 at 11:24 am