Some thoughts about change—not so much what to change, as the process of change, offered in light of its slow
Yes, lecture is a good example. In a recent survey, 275 econ faculty who teach principles courses reported they lectured 70 percent of the class time, led discussion 20 percent of the time, and had students doing activities for 10 percent of the time. The article cites studies in that field from the mid-’90s reporting similar percentages. Maybe some other fields have changed more, but evidence supports a continuing reliance on lecture in many fields.
However, lecture isn’t the only example of where we’re slow to change. Many aspects of teaching—course design, approaches to testing, assignments, and grading—have also changed little. Granted, some faculty do change, a lot and regularly, but not the majority. The question is, “Why?” Here are some possibilities I’ve been considering.