Peer Teaching

A depiction of the world's oldest continually ...
A depiction of the world's oldest continually operating university, the University of Bologna, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We are engaging in a pretty interesting experiment in my debate program.

This arose out of a meeting I held for students who wanted to take on more leadership in the team. Out of this meeting, the students decided to hold a number of training sessions for the new members of our program.

I attended most of them, and have filmed them all. You can watch the series here.

I am very pleased with these videos for a number of reasons. First, I think the quality of the instruction is uniquely strong. Not quite strong, not very good - uniquely strong. I say that because I believe this teaching to come from experience and reflection - praxis, as identified by Paulo Friere, bell hooks, and others as an important element to critical thinking and critical being in the world. I think I might be able to give a more thorough lecture or more detailed presentation, but I don't believe it would be as good as these due to that extra ingredient of experience.

Secondly. these are proof of concept of something we have known for a long time - that peer education simply works. Teaching is the best way to learn something, and to learn something you need a thoughtful and engaged instructor. Most of these videos are peer education videos, with the exception of the one I did and the ones that the graduate students did. But overall, those videos seem to have the same energy as well. Maybe not mine, but most!

Finally, I think these videos represent the future of the power of digital video and blogs to serve the University. The idea of good teaching, engaged learning, and learner-centered education all come through in these videos. I think I am starting to figure out how to use digital video, blogging, and the internet to teach. I think segmenting instruction and putting it in video collections like this is a huge step in the direction of making online teaching effective.
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