I draw pictures all day… say what?

Alma Hoffmann
Department of Visual Arts, University of South Alabama

Most students say that sitting through a lecture is nothing but boring. Yet, regardless of the polarized discussion regarding their effectiveness, it is unlikely that lectures will go away. Being that as educators we know some topics are better taught in lecture mode, we face a daunting task: students who are already predisposed to be bored and a lecture that perhaps cannot be avoided. Thus, the question is how do we bridge the gap? Students’ attention is already taxed by the immersion in social media gadgets. Let’s face it, some topics are less inspiring than checking a Facebook or Twitter status. Does that mean we need to make everything entertaining?

Some strategies include providing a copy of the handouts, or the slides either in advance or after. However, as effective as that may be, it is still a temporary solution. Students are still dependant on what we as instructors facilitate and there is no guarantee, the student will consult those materials after the threat of the exam is gone. Furthermore, students are not relying on their own skills; to put it mildly, survive these lectures.

Is there another way? This talk seeks to encourage a discussion about helping students incorporate methods and skills we are already familiar with but have relegated it to a second rate citizen in the classroom: the doodle.