Instead of the using lectures (in which students are passive recipients of information), we make extensive use of newer and research-supported active teaching methods, including Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) done in groups.
This pedagogy reflects modern theories of student learning. Our guided inquiry method uses team problem-solving to build an understanding of material. The approach teaches individuals to consider problems from a number of different perspectives and to collaborate effectively -- skills that are considered valuable in the workplace.
Here is a summary of why we chose these new pedagogies. The links below show the importance of moving away from the traditional lecture format method for teaching college courses.
- Twilight of the Lecture: The trend toward "Active Learning" may overthrow the style of teaching that has ruled universities for 600 years. Harvard Magazine. March - April, 2013. A must read for students and parents!
- The Khan Academy: CBS's 60 Minutes
- Don't lecture me: Rethinking the Way College Students Learn. American Radio Works, September, 2011
- Five reasons getting students to talk is worth the effort. The Teaching Professor Blog
- A guided inquiry classroom - YouTube
- Turning education upside down: New York Time, 10/9/13
- Why we are teaching science wrong, and how to make it right: Nature 523, 272-274 (16 July 2015) doi:10.1038/523272a
- Are College Lectures Unfair?: New York Time (9/13/15)
- Ths educator says it's time to ditch the college lecture - Minnesota Public Radio (4/14/16)
- Journal of Chemical Education - 2016, 93 (1), pp 13-23: There is a significant drop in Ds, Fs, or withdrawals in flipped Chemistry courses as compared with the control but no change on higher performing students.
- Engaged Student Learning ... from Chemical and Engineering News (10/16/17) that cleary explains the importance of active learning in the classroom.
Parents of first year students will also be interested in the pedagogy as well. We hope this letter helps!