As a supplement to his in-class lectures, Professor of Economics Jeffrey Weiss’ honors MBA students at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College are watching iMovies of the presentations, according to an
Apple “Macs in Action” story. And the professor thinks this may help the retention levels of the students at the largest collegiate business school in the nation.
“It’s a very one-way type of communication, where the information is delivered in a monologue, and the students frantically try to listen and take notes at the same time. I thought it would be so much better if the students didn’t have to worry about getting everything down, and could relax and actively participate in the process. When I saw the demonstration of iMovie, I immediately knew it would be possible.”
Weiss had been following the recent work of researchers at Johns Hopkins, who reported that introductory neuroscience students who were placed in a “virtual learning environment” (which included the use of videotapes, animations, and simulations) scored an average of 14 percent higher than students who were taught via the traditional lecture-only method, according to the story. Realizing the potential for connecting with his charges, Weiss eagerly explored the multimedia model.
With an iMac DV equipped with iMovie, and a Sony DCR-TRV900 digital video camera, Weiss began recording and archiving his “Microeconomics for Managers” lectures. Now the professor is touting numerous potential benefits to the visual records of his classes.
“First and foremost, Weiss suggests, students who are not required to furiously take notes will probably be more relaxed in class, which will significantly aid their listening skills,” he told Apple. “And better listening, he feels, could ultimately lead to better, more thoughtful questions … resulting in a greatly enhanced interaction. Weiss also reveals that foreign students are finding the movies help ease language barriers. Saved from the embarrassment of not grasping the meaning of a word or words in class, Baruch’s many international students can easily review the tapes as many times as might be needed to translate and understand the lectures.”
And Weiss feels that the iMovie technology makes him a better teacher. There’s nothing like knowing your words will be captured for all eternity to make you choose them very carefully, he told Apple.