Not Listening: Interaction, Technology, and Education

April 6, 2004
Halligan 111


Lecture is the most common format for university classes: the teacher talks and students listen. Unfortunately, lecturing does not necessarily support learning. Theory, experiments, and experience all point to the need for students to stop just listening and start acting in order to learn. In this talk, I present three strands of my work that help students stop just listening and start learning. First, kinesthetic learning activities are exercises that capture students' attention, tap into rarely used learning styles, and physically engage students in computer science concepts. Second, the Classroom Feedback System, a distributed application which allows students to give feedback to the instructor, has exposed problems with current interaction patterns and potential for novel, computer-mediated interaction patterns. Finally, the Structured Interaction Presentation system weaves interactive exercises into instructors' current teaching design processes. Each of these illustrates ways for computer scientists to understand and improve classroom learning. I promise not to (just) lecture.