Annie Murphy Paul, on her The Brilliant BLOG, posted an article recently about the advantages of arguing over lecture.
The article, entitled Great debate: Why arguing is the best way to learn, shares the insights of Carl Wieman, a Nobel-prize winner and a professor.
Paul reports that Weiman noticed his students had low retention rates for the information he presented. He tried an experiment in which he set up situations were students would argue with each other over content points.
In one example, students paired off and took turns explaining and debating physics concepts to each other.
Weiman reports, according to Paul, that retention rates went form 10% for a traditional lecture to 50% to 100% through these mock arguments.
As prior articles, including Targeted questions lead to better learning results, The participant who teaches learns, Mini-tests can help our participants retain our information and History is learned when students are involved have reported, active participation helps people learn more effectively than passive listening.
One conclusion we can all draw form this is that if you want your participants to learn you should get them arguing.