The Question of Teaching Effectiveness - "The Answer Is Not in the Box, It's in the Band."

Article excerpt


The advent of new technology using course management systems heralds new opportunities for teachers to make their internet classrooms more student-friendly and more empathy driven with social awareness. The allegation, that the on-line courses are not as student-friendly and effective as the face to face class, is just not true. The evidence has been presented about effective teaching and learning using structural and social dimensions of the course management system in which the student has the best opportunity to succeed while using their fullest potential-hence the adage, "the answer (of teaching effectiveness) is not in the box(class room), it's in the band (on line effectiveness). "

Keywords: Teaching effectiveness, On-line teaching, New Paradigms, Effective Retention, Student Learning Outcomes


The paradigms of teaching effectiveness have changed frequently, and they have changed drastically with the use of course management systems like web-ct, blackboard, e-college etc. The baton has been passed seamlessly from a generation of chalk and talk professors to the generation-/ students, who can learn asynchronously with their own volition, some responsibly and some irresponsibly. But there is a lesson here for the prudent professor and the student alike. The onus of teaching effectiveness still lies on the shoulders of the invisible instructor, who has not even seen the faces of the students in his class.

This paper discusses an experimental and experiential design of a course in which students are allowed to take as many take home exams with unlimited attempts with a view to learn in their own free time. The result of this experiment is gauged by the results in the e-grade book, which takes into account student attempts, and hours, and their ability to score their maximum potential under no limitations of time or effort. This experiment examines the student's learning curve and their motivation as an indicator of success.

The automated entries in the e-grade book tells it all. You tell the students, "read your e-grade template."

This novel approach of teaching effectiveness will be compared with the success rates of students in a parallel face to face class, defending the hypothesis that the success is not in the box (classroom) but in the band (learning by interaction, self imposed learning discipline and learning and retention by repetition).

The implication of this experimentation will be set on a platform for generalizations.


There was a time when excellent teachers were known by their class performance-the lecture. The student was influenced by the teacher's classroom performance. Such model teachers were great teachers. Tom Futrak, in his "It's Time for a Change to a More Effective Paradigm in College Teaching" says that lecture started as a teaching tool in the amphitheater of the Royal Institution of Great Britain where famous scientists, philosophers and laureates addressed the society and imparted great learning. The lectures were effective teaching tools, where the listeners were spell bound. Today the veracity of such learning is at stake.

In the typical classroom the effectiveness of the lecture does not last more than 15 minutes as the graph from Furtak shows. But yet instructors of today spend at least two hours of their time for one hour of effective lecture, which the students do not use for taking notes. The class notes are expected to be given to the students. Or they expect it to be published somewhere to be read after the fact.

Having explained the problems with lectures (yet I am a great believer in great teachers with great abilities to teach and influence students with great lectures) in producing the desired results in students, for the evident debacle of the lecture shown above, let us see how we can achieve the desired learning outcomes in students by redesigning or reengineering the available educational resources, to alleviate some burden of great teachers with respect to time. …


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