The State Change Method
- Source: Sources/In Online Ed Content Is No Longer King - Cohorts Are - Essay, Wes Kao
- Keywords: Cards/permanent notes
- Relevant Notes:
It’s a dialogue, not a static lecture
# How to deliver engaging live lectures on Zoom
- Monotony causes audiences to tune out. Movement causes audiences to become alert.
- State Change Method: Aim for a state change every 3–5 minutes to break up the monotony of a monologue-style lecture. A state change is anything that punctuates an instructor’s monologue and offers a change in pace that causes students to perk up and snap back to attention.
- State changes include:
- breakout rooms
- asking students to comment in the chat box
- switching from screen share back to gallery view mode, vice versa
- asking students to unmute to chime in
- literally having anyone else talk
- putting a question on the screen to ask students to reflect silently
- cracking a joke and adding humor
- giving the mic to other students to share
- asking students to pause to internalize what was said
- group discussions
- built around modern audiences that are ==even more naturally restless==–and instead of blaming people for not being able to sit still, the ==responsibility is on the instructor== (that’s you) to make the lectures exciting enough to want to stay awake for.
# You are 50% instructor, 50% entertainer
- Goal as instructor: student transformation.
- If you’re 90% instructor and 10% entertainer, you’re a college professor.
- If you’re 10% instructor and 90% entertainer, you’re a human incarnation of a BuzzFeed video.
A conversation versus a performance
- You don’t “lecture” to a group of 5 people. You have a conversation with them.
- When you’re in a small group, the dynamics are different because the tone is conversational.
- On the other hand, lecturing to a room of 100+ people in Zoom is a different story. The instructor can’t personally jump in to save the conversation anymore. This is why I recommend instructors ==practice teaching to a large enough audience where they can’t just rely on personalized attention to individual students to carry the day.==
- When you lecture for a larger group, the dynamics switch from a conversation to more of a performance. You still want to be conversational, but now you are ==performing for a group.==
# Just say no to monologues
1. Vary your pace/style: Fast and slow, loud and quiet.
2. Fight the urge to tell. Embrace the Cards/Socratic method and ask instead.
3. Add interactivity. And then add some more.
- small group discussions
- hands on projects
- role playing
- time to hear from other students
- 1:1 pairs
- analyze case study vs analyze own situation
- solo exercises
- reflection questions