Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaching Through Innovation

I pose to you today the conundrum of education: How do you present decades of information to a student so they learn the critical principles of a subject but question that learning enough to explore new ideas? I'm a Computer Science major, and much of our learning takes the form of lengthy programming projects contrived by the professor to teach a principle well-known by industry professionals. The following is an alternative approach to teaching these principles as well as real-world problem solving skills.

Give students a unique real-world problem to solve (or let them find their own if they are capable.) The problems posed to students may be in a similar realm of study (e.g. web security, social communication, mobile-programming, computer graphics, etc.) giving the professor opportunity to teach current industry practices. Students' grades would be based on the performance of their end product and an explanation of their methodology.

Teaching students to innovate is especially important in the fast-paced world of technology where anybody can be the first to do anything. You can do anything given the chance, and I'd be really interested in seeing what a group of college undergrads could come up with.

1 comment:

  1. Learning principles and ideas and then being able to apply them to a meaningful project seems like the ideal teaching situation. We want innovators, not regurgitators, so why don't we encourage innovation in students?