The title of this post is taken from a blistering Op Ed in The Stanford Daily written by a Stanford University medical student named Steven Zhang. He writes that attendance is down at lectures — “a paltry dozen, if not fewer, out of a class of 90 students”– because students can learn the material better from the internet. Zhang writes,
We must ask ourselves if Stanford, or any medical school for that matter, can create a better curriculum than the combination of Khan Academy, Pathoma, Lippencott’s, Goljan’s Rapid Pathology Review, First Aid, Strong Medicine, Kaplan, USMLE World, SketchyMicro, FireCracker, Doctors-In-Training, Picmonic, UpToDate, MedScape and even Wikipedia.
To adjust to this new phenomena, Zhang notes that the medical school has in many cases adopted a “flipped classroom model.” A blog post last fall described how Harvard Medical School has begun to do the same thing. In this age where the content of curriculum is becoming more and more available online, we see the instructors role here shifting from delivering that content to identifying limits in the students’ ability to understand it and helping them overcome those obstacles in ways that both enable and inspire them to overcome the obstacles themselves in the future. You can read the Op Ed and the comments to it here.