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**Posted by the MIT Alumni Association on behalf of brad.lichtenstein@verizon.net.**

The idea of a "lectureless" class sounds absurd, depending on implementation - not even high-bandwidth video conferencing compares to face to face interaction. But then the idea of losing the main lecture for an additional "recitation" section would probably be very wise - force the "lecturer" to adapt to student response, which is admittedly largely absent from a large lecture. Also, small sections would tend to hold students more accountable for both attendance and assignments by eliminating apparent anonymity, and this overcome that simple barrier to learning. Also, a collection of smaller sections lets the registrar better scale the class size as needed by enrollment, and gives more scheduling flexibility by virtue of needing smaller classrooms.

My point is that a personally engaged student is a more interested and better student. I tended to loathe going to lectures precisely because they were impersonal regurgitations of book learning, in a setting that made basic questions like, "huh, what does THAT mean?" egotistically impossible. Even video conferencing or the online answering of student questions that I've heard about the open courseware, really doesn't engage anyone but those who have an already vested interest in learning the material (that is, beyond "I need it for my degree", a very vague goal in the sense of "why should I be interested in applying myself and learning the material").

Education & Facilities, Educational experiences, Academic year, Global Implications of EdX, Global implications of edX, Beyond the residential campus