The beginning of the end for non-interactive, in-class lectures.

YouTube has just launched YouTube.edu. This is a site where educational videos are stored, including lots of videos of lectures.   I see this as the beginning of the end for university lecturing.  Others more prescient than I saw this coming years ago.

By lecturing, I am referring to the mostly one-way communication where a learned faculty member presents a selected topic to a group of students.   The lecture is clearly of value.  But how valuable is it for the faculty member to do it live?  I predict that within a few years, we will learn that it is not very valuable.  It certainly isn’t valuable enough to be the faculty member’s most time-intensive contribution to a subject each semester.

Fortunately, this is potentially a huge win for both faculty and students.  If faculty free up enormous amounts of time by not having to modify old lectures and repeat them in class, then faculty can devote the time in other ways to enhance a subject.

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