Chunking our Favorite Food

When I first heard the phrase “sage on the stage” in 2013, I couldn’t help but remember every college professor that I have ever had. First off, professors are usually experts in their field, and then asked to become experts of pedagogy. Now, with the advent of vigorous online instruction, we are asking them to carry around their PGP-encrypted laptops and teach from cyberspace.

How does a seasoned professional in a distinct field demonstrate their knowledge soundly? With as little droning on as possible? (I’ve droned, really). The article by “On Ramps”, a University of Texas-Austin publication, discusses how chunking material can be used to enhance overall course design. I’m not talking about just less droning, but less material.

Reducing material in smaller units can improve student engagement, and be less taxing on the instructor. Smaller course units give the students more room to learn. While the instructor may feel less in-control, social learning theory discusses that students will still learn, and feel engaged.