Friday, October 5, 2012

Blog Post #6

Notes on Randy Pausch's Last Lecture


After watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, I feel that I have learned many things. First of all, he was an amazing man and professor who achieved SUCH great things in the short time that he lived. In this blog post, I will be talking about the different teaching strategies that Dr. Pausch employed during his teaching career.

This lecture was given at Carnegie Mellon University, where Pausch started working in Computer Science in 1997. There, he taught a course called Building Virtual Worlds. In the first year of teaching this course, Randy Pausch learned something about how to be a better professor. He had a class of 50 students who were broken up into teams. They were given two weeks for the first assignment. According to Pausch, they came back to class having exceeded his expectations. He was baffled as to what to tell them to do next until a colleague told him to tell them to do BETTER! We have to constantly expect more from our students. If we lower our expectations, they will do the same and will not work to their potential! Randy Pausch's students came back after their next project and did better and better because he EXPECTED them to do so!

One of the things Pausch talked about that I loved was when he spoke about his football coach. His coach pushed him harder and harder during one practice. Pausch said on of his assistant coaches told him, "When you are screwing up, and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means that they gave up." We do not want to have our students feel that they have been given up on. We need to show them that we CARE, that we want them to succeed, even if it means pushing them harder!

Pausch also spoke about getting your students to be "self-reflective," which is also something that Dr. Strange wants us to work on in EDM310. He stated that as educators, teaching our students to be self-reflective is the best gift we can give them. Our students will not always have someone there to hold their hand through a project. We have to teach them to be self sufficient and in turn become self-reflective. We have to know what we can do better before we can become better. Our students need to be told the same!

Another subject Pausch spoke a great deal on was "brick walls." He said that there will always be a brick wall, or obstacle, somewhere keeping you from what you want to achieve. With that being said, Pausch also said that those brick walls are there to keep others away as well. You have to want to work hard and figure away around that problem before you can get where you want to be. We have to teach our students that if they want something bad enough, they have to show it and work for it! It will not come to them easily!

I loved this lecture by Randy Pausch. Before I came to EDM310, I had ever heard of him before. Since I have watched a few of his lectures, I can't believe that I haven't. He was such an eloquent speaker and had such great ideas to share. I only hope that one day I can be as great of a professor as he was!


  1. Even though this lecture was addressed to his kids, every educator can take many lessons from it!

    Thoughtful, Well Done!

  2. Brittany,
    I thought that you did an excellent job on this Blog! I did see one or two type-o's such as: Pausch said "on of his assistant coaches told him,.." and also when you said "Before I came to EDM310, I had ever heard of him before." I think you meant to say never instead of ever. Brittany you did a great job writing this blog and giving it from your perspective and not just a summary of Randy Pausch's words.