Why this is important?
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” (Benjamin Franklin)
“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep” (Albert Camus)
A key element of student engagement is student/staff interaction in the classroom. The University is therefore committed to encouraging greater use of active and interactive methods and to exploring alternatives and enhancements to the traditional 50 minute lecture format. A review of relevant educational literature confirms that increased levels of interaction in the classroom or laboratory are important for effective student learning. Chickering and Gamson’s seminal review of empirical evidence (1987) identified seven principles of good practice; this included encouraging co-operation amongst students and active learning. The more recent work of Brown and Race, 2002, Exley and Dennick, 2004 and many others, reinforces this view.
Furthermore, Peelo and Wareham (2002) argue that withdrawal from a course is more likely when students consider the quality of teaching to be poor. They attribute the decline in in staff/student interaction to rising student numbers and the resultant impersonalisation of higher education. The current economic climate makes these factors even more influential – parents and students are increasingly questioning the value of their investment in a university education. Digitally literate students also expect their tutors to make full use of the technologies that support learning, teaching and assessment.