Good article about professors at the University of Maryland and Harvard using "peer instruction" in large classes to facilitate learning in physics and other subjects. This means the professor doesn't lecture, but proposes questions to answer about the text all students should have read, and then the students talk to each other about the question to come up with the answer.
It has a nice video example and links to the research supporting the methods.
"Mazur now teaches all of his classes using a “peer-instruction” approach. Rather than teaching by telling, he teaches by questioning. Mazur says it’s a particularly effective way to teach large classes."
"I don't go into the class lecturing on what I think they need, no they tell me what it is they want me to cover." "I find out from the students what they need "You can forget facts but you cannot forget understanding." He sounds like a fantastic teacher!
This is similar to the methods we use at the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute, called "Socratic Seminars." Here's a description of what a Socratic Seminar is, and why it works so well. And here's a short video in which you can see a bit about how it works.
Hattip Dave Saum.