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Why lecturing is not an effective way to learn

25 November 2016

Over the last few weeks we have been thinking quite a bit about our website and whether we should record a number of online videos.  This raises a couple of strategic issues:

  • Since our main product that we sell is knowledge, how much of that should we be willing to give away?
  • How would we then monetise this given that there is already quite a bit of material already on the net?

As we were pondering this I stumbled across this excellent article on the BBC's website

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38058477

It makes a number of excellent points:

  • Why bother with a lecture if there is free online material available?
  • Talking at students and expecting them to absorb knowledge will not help them to learn
  • Participants remember as little as 10% of their lectures in the following days
  • Some online learning has simply copied the classic lecture format 
  • Although many lecturers will be very good researchers their ability to design meaningful learning experiences is less well developed
  • The growth of peer to peer learning and project-based activities has resulted in a significant increase in learning and retention.  

Teaching style is an area that many financial markets training companies understand but don't do anything about it.  The subject matter experts spend a lot of time ensuring that the technical content of their materials are accurate without considering how they should be delivered.  Lectures are useful when you are looking to transfer information not knowledge.  

At FMT we have spent a lot of time with professional educators looking at the way in which we structure our sessions.   Although we are loathe to give the game away online, rest assured that the good components mentioned in the BBC article are incorporated into our courses!

"Some people talk in their sleep; lecturers talk while others sleep" - Camus

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It was really interactive, with problem solving exercises which I really enjoyed

The trainer was very knowledgeable in the subject and made the course interesting

All of the course was enlightening. I liked having to apply what we were taught to different scenarios

Good class interaction as well being able to cope with different levels of experience

The case studies presented were a very useful aid to understanding the material

One highlight of the course was being able to listen to other people's explanations of the material from first hand experience

Excellent explanations and content for the areas covered

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