Innovation is needed if Tertiary Institutions want to survive, US speaker tells Kiwi summit

“At some of the top universities in the world … you are in a room with 200 or 300 people and someone is lecturing. I think institutions that continue to do that in 10 years are going to be in trouble” states Salman Khan, the creator of Khan Academy. “Teaching methods will need to change if they continue to charge thousands for learning that is available free on the Internet. Those institutions that will thrive, according to Salman Khan, are those “that can articulate what is special about what happens when the human beings get together.”1

With a focus on the value of face to face interactions between an Instructor and the student, Salman Khan believes that those institutions who bring students into a room and “create simulations or projects or team things for them to work on, I think they are going to do very well.”2

“As a parent, yes, it’s nice to know that my kid can quote Shakespeare or know calculus. But the real thing I want my kids to have is this ability to take ownership over their own learning. To say, what’s my goal and what are the resources at my disposal and how can I put them together to reach my goal. Anyone who can do that is going to do very, very well.”3

A trend towards “flipped classrooms” has resulted from this need and Salman Khan believes this will improve student engagement and learning outcomes within existing tertiary institutions. Flipped classrooms use videos/lectures to pre-teach ideas and concepts before class, then using lessons for classroom activities such as simulations, collaborative work and individual tutoring.4


Photo Credit: University of Washington

While this is not a new method, it is a recent adaption to a years old method. This approach allows students to take responsibility for their own learning process through studying the course material outside of class by reviewing readings, pre-recorded video lectures or research assignments. Actual class time is spent briefly reviewing content and checking for Students then work on problems/simulations/in-class activities while the instructor circulates, allowing the teacher to correct misunderstandings on the spot. Through this the teachers can learn what topics cause issue for their students allowing for deeper, richer and active learning experiences for students.5

You can find more information on Flipped-Classrooms here and the Kiwi Education summit here.

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