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Why Do Lectures Have to Be One Hour?

The traditional class period lasts about an hour, so many professors design their lectures to be that long, too. But professors who record their lectures for the Web find that students prefer short segments to class-length talks. A free article in this week’s Chronicle describes how some professors are experimenting with short-form lectures in their classrooms as well as online. But some long-time professors worry that cutting up lectures into short pieces will lead to oversimplification.

Diane Zorn (above), an instructor at York U., in Toronto, films what she calls a “minilecture” in a campus studio. (Photograph by Rick Chard)

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