Thursday, August 14, 2014

Confuse Students to Help Them Learn

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 14th, 2014

If you had to pick a single word to explain how Derek Muller ended up in a Perth hotel room arguing with an empty chair, it probably would be "confusion."
About a decade ago, Mr. Muller, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, wanted to figure how out to make science videos that students would learn from, not just watch. So he did some experiments. He got a handheld camera and rudimentary animation and editing software, and recorded some educational videos aimed at teaching basic physics concepts.
In some videos, he had an actor explain the concepts straightforwardly, with simple drawings and animations. When he showed the videos to a group of undergraduates, the students described them as clear, concise, and easy to understand.

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