iMovie, The Next Revolution In Higher Education?

In Baruch College, New York, Professor of Economics Jeffrey Weiss has found a new way of making life easier for his students. He saw that taking notes in class is difficult while at the same time remaining interested and participating. He has found a good solution: home-made QuickTime films of the lectures, which the students can download and look at later at their leisure. Better yet, Apple has posted a story about this at the companyis Web site.

From the article:

Weiss points out 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. 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. [...]

"If students are asking better questions, we would hope that the teacher who has to answer them will rise to the occasion,” Weiss muses. “This type of dialogue offers an invaluable opportunity for exploration and clarification. Just last week, I was trying to explain a very complex concept, and I came up with something I’ve never thought of before in class.

I was startled, and also very glad I had a record of it. Aside from that, I think teachers who use the video format will really become accountable for the quality of their lectures. The use of Desktop Movies in the classroom could conceivably raise the level of teaching everywhere." [...]

Weiss already has proof of the effectiveness of his new teaching model. Students recently took a midterm exam in his Microeconomics course, and from their perspective, the video-based study model was a huge success. Immediately before the test, he says, at least eight students dropped him emails saying they enjoyed trouble-free sleep the night before, knowing they’d reviewed the material via the Desktop Movies, and felt well prepared for the exam.

You can find more information in the full article. Apple also has a full section dedicated to the education market.