Discussion-Based Courses

Anti-lecture:Testing a Strategy for Creating Discussion-Based Courses

Principal Investigator: David Yamane, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Contact: yamane.1@nd.edu

Many have argued for the value of active over passive learning. In my teaching, I put this into practice by creating discussion-based instead of lecture-based courses. The question remains, however, whether my alternative discussion-based course produces more desirable student outcomes than a traditional lecture course. This is the question I will investigate with the support of a Notre Dame SoTL grant. Using a quasi-experimental research design – teaching a traditional lecture course one semester and the discussion-based course the next – I will empirically test whether students in the discussion course (a) are more substantively engaged in their work, (b) realize the course objectives to a greater extent, and (c) cultivate more democratic values with respect to education than students in the traditional lecture course.

May 2004 Report (PDF)