Podcast #12

Professor Craig Wright has been teaching an introductory course on classical music for as long as he can remember. It started as a traditional lecture course, became an active in-person lecture course, and four years ago he taught it in Yale Summer Session as a Small Private Online Course (SPOC). In the spring Craig transformed the course yet again, this time into a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Craig shares his journey with us on this episode of the Teach Better Podcast.

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Show Notes

0:00 Intro

0:53 Teaching at Yale since 1973

6:15 Taking on your mentor’s course: Craig laughs. Wax on LP’s; Technology changes, and we change.

9:08 Realizing you know less and less; Replicating a model of the professor you’ve experienced “is not always the best way.” Not conveying information but inspiring, changing the way someone experiences the world.

11:50 “In some ways it used to be about trivia.”

13:28 Teaching a course as “the voyage of a lifetime.”

15:46 Finding Stephen Malinowski’s musical visualizations on Youtube

17:29 Experts see things differently.

20:49 Changing the medium of teaching.

24:32 Active learning in a large lecture; Knowing your students.

29:53 Some online courses are more like a seminar.

33:19 Pushing the envelope with technology: an online orchestra.

36:34 Paradoxes of technologies: a Stradivarius doesn’t age at the same rate as a smartphone.

37:55 The technology trade-off of dissemination and quality: John Adams’ view.

40:39 What you lose and gain in an online course.

42:39 Reaching more students in a single course than you’ve taught in 40 years of teaching.

46:04 Using a new medium to teach the same material: getting yourself out of the familiar. “We all learned so much about America by moving to Paris.”

48:32 The MOOC that became an obsession

49:05 A worst single mistake: misjudging your audience.

50:13 One single debacle vs. a thousand little cuts. Moving on every day, trying to do a good job.