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Teaching in the round

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

Vicky Gunn told me about this, and said doing it was a transformative experience for her.

Audience 100 (say). Seating in a circle, or concentric circles like theatre in the round, or in steeply banked, multi-tiered, concentric circles as in Pisa's mediaeval teaching medical theatre. Material for an hour's lecture; but timetable slot 3 hours (with break in middle). No slides (use handouts). Punctuate with provocative assertions. Take questions as you go, and the audience will also start to engage with each other.

Justify it as like a lecture plus preliminary revision or tutorial (because the learners will do more processing, more re-expression, more going over reasons for and against).

It's a counterexample to the belief you can't do big group teaching and substantive interaction and discussion.

But it could be a bit less good than Mazur, because still at best only 1 in 100, not 1 in 4, learners are generating arguments at any one moment.

The cylindrical layout: does film and TV studies department have a place? Or better, hire a theatre (the CCA? Citzens'?) to put on a big demo of it.

The provocations would be easy for the presenter to generate in some subjects, but might require special expert input in others like Mechanics (e.g. the question banks Jim Boyle draws on).

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