Lecture Hall Exposed

Is one of the reasons you haven’t enrolled in college because you picture a boring lecture hall? Fear not.  Over the last few decades, college teaching has changed from the “Sage-on-Stage” model to the “Guide-By-Side” model.

What’s the Difference?

In the Sage-on-Stage mode of teaching, a wise person gave information to passive students. They spat out this information in tests. Hopefully, the students retained some of the information after the test.

By contrast, in the Guide-by-Side style, the instructor gives the students basic facts. Then the students combine the new knowledge with their information and experiences to create or rearrange knowledge.

Why the Change?

There are two main reasons for the changes in teaching.

First, with the Internet and associated technology like smartphones putting facts at our fingertips, our brains do not need to be hard drives crammed with data. Instructors today can find it hard to keep up with information. It’s estimated that by 2020 “about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being” on earth.

Second, the National Center for Education Statistics reports the 18-21-year-old is no longer the typical college student. From 1970 to 2017, this age group’s proportion has fallen from 52 percent to nearly 41 percent of enrolled students.  Older students are now the majority.

Making Sense

With information readily accessible and learners bringing their knowledge and practical experiences into the classroom, the Guide-by-Side type of instruction makes more sense in many fields.  Practically, this method makes classes far more interesting.

The Guide-By-Side style also makes the students own the knowledge. Also, it often encourages teamwork and the development of interpersonal skills. If you are considering some of the more popular fields of learning, the Guide-by-Side style will provide you with lifelong knowledge and skills.

Step into an online or offline classroom!

Scroll to Top