I'm thinking about trying an intro course in which I write very little on the board and mostly just lecture very slowly. Here's my inspiration:
I give short-essay format exams in some intro level classes. Many questions have the form, "What is X's argument that P? [Insert follow-up question here.]" Follow-up questions include things like "What would X say about Y?" and "Explain at least one objection to that argument and how X could meet it."
Many of my students ... respond by writing down, as nearly verbatim as they can remember, everything that I wrote on the board about the general topic, but nothing else, even when what I wrote on the board doesn't actually answer the question.
I'm hoping that if I remove the note-taking crutch of writing down all and only the things that I wrote down, students may be forced to think about what I'm saying when they take notes. Some will probably crash and burn, of course, which worries me.
Has anyone ever tried anything like this? Any advice?
I don't write on the board much. I find that the more time I spend with my back to them, the more of them fall asleep. (Instead, I provide detailed handouts--the problem there is that the students then take all their notes right on the handout, which leads to tiny, poorly organized notes squeezed in between the arguments, principles, definitions, etc. It's not good when they do that. I tell them not to, but they do it anyway.)
What say you, Smokers?