We sometimes look to post-secondary education to inform our perspectives on digital learning in the K-12 landscape. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education reminds us why this approach can be so valuable and should be required reading for policymakers requiring that all students must be back to f2f learning in the fall. Although this article describes a Harvard professor’s experience with remote learning, much of it applies to K-12 teaching and learning as well. It also demonstrates why the shift to good online teaching and learning is often so hard for experienced teachers and professors.
Why an Active-Learning Evangelist Is Sold on Online Teaching describes Professor Eric Mazur, a “seasoned expert on effective teaching strategies” whose class “is built around project-based learning, group work, and peer-to-peer instruction.”
Let’s begin with the startling conclusion: after shifting his course to be online, he says:
the results are in and he’s convinced: online teaching is better. Not in all circumstances, to be sure. But in his applied-physics courses, students showed larger learning gains and felt more supported than students had in in-person classes. In fact, they appear to have learned so much more effectively in this new…