Making Classes Better, and Learning More Effective
30 July 2021

Making Classes Better, and Learning More Effective

Classes have not significantly changed since the industrial revolution. In high schools and universities, lectures are being given in classes or large lecture halls, where students listen carefully, take notes and occasionally engage in the discussion. The whole model is very linear, where the information is being transferred top-down with little excitement within the process. On the one hand, in some academic domains, this makes sense if the purpose is to share some basic or concrete information. But, on the other hand, that does not stimulate critical thinking and dialogue, which is so often very important for a successful schooling process. 

The didactic delivery of the classes is dull and does not trigger thinking in most cases. Meanwhile, students know how to appreciate good, engaging lectures. We can see that from the popularity of some lecture videos on platforms like YouTube.

We want to share some tips on how to spice up the class and enable the students to focus on learning and engage in class. 

The most significant outcome of this blog entry is advice on leveraging transcriptions. Transcriptions are a solution to note-taking, which makes students copy the text without reflection.  Instead, provide them with notes, worksheets, and slide decks along with a transcript of your classes. They will then have all the material to familiarise themselves with and reflect upon. The students will be enabled to focus on the content during the course and share their reflections and comments. 

This helps to structurize the learning process. Students can come to class familiarized with the content and engage easier. Or read it afterward for a mature reflection. Students have many courses during the day, which is an excellent aid in keeping track of the subject and strengthening their engagement.

On top of making a good course structure, other educators recommend explicitly communicating the goals of the course and outline the material to be discussed in the classes. This helps them identify the subject's concepts and topics and come with a clear interest in some initial knowledge on the subject.