Remember the old days when we had to go to class?

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There is a nice article in The Chronicle this week by Jeffrey R Young entitled, Actually Going to Class, for a Specific Course? How 20th-Century. I liked this piece not because it told me anything new, but because of the sub-text that it is incredulous so many academic institutions still trot out the same tired old didactic teaching model and believe they are providing a high quality learning experience. “There is definitely a broader array of options available to students who wish to forgo the commute to class altogether in exchange for online classes that essentially provide the same content that professors regurgitate to students in lectures,” says one student in the article. Frankly, there were a sufficient number of options when I made my PowerPoint slides available ahead of class back in 1996. Now there is a veritable cornucopia of options! Who in their right mind would go to a lecture nowadays unless you were guaranteed some form of active engagement or ‘edutainment’ from an academic with stand up comedy skills?