Have Colleges Lost the Ability to Transmit Information Effectively?

Below, I have copied a response that I posited yesterday in the blog, Learning with 'e's.  I was commenting on a blog post by Steve Wheeler (the host of Learning with 'e's), titled, "Conversation as curriculum."  Steve's article contends that current pedagogical theories and methods used by most college and university professors is outdated.  You can find his article here:

My responses to blog posts are usually both brief and ad hoc.  In other words, I write what comes to mind and don't edit for content/grammar.  As such, this response suffers/benefits from even less editing than usual.

Great post...I agree with the hypothesis you put forward.  Perhaps I can provide an additional perspective on the issue, having recently graduated (in May) with a M.S. in Healthcare Administration.

Not only is the pedagogical content outdated, many of the memes/theories do not adequately describe the "world."  Further, these theories, even when valuable, have limited "visions."  They therefore create students with provincial mindsets who are not prepared for the dynamic, "real world." 

Worse, most professors use antiquated methods, such as one-dimensional (purely text based) PowerPoint presentations and lectures, to transfer information to their students.  These techniques may have worked wonders in educating students for an Industrial based culture but are inadequate in helping people develop their critical thinking skills.  In other words, graduate programs (at least the ones I have seen) do an excellent job of creating students who can follow directions and please teachers but do an inadequate job of training individuals to rapidly assess the pros and cons a decision (ie. the stakeholders involved, the environment that constrains the choice, the ramifications of the decision, etc.).

Finally, our society is transforming from one that is dependent on materials and manufacturing to one that relies on technology and knowledge.  As such it behooves universities to train their students to utilize the technologies to the fullest advantage and to understand how the Internet and computers will (and are) transform ethics, behaviors, values, etc.  Sadly, most graduate and undergraduate programs (that I have experience with) do not achieve this goal.  Rather, they are still thinking in 2-D when the world revolves in 3-D.

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