Good lectures

Students in a lectureBest lectures inspire students to challenge themselves to learn and grow.

  • A good lecture can be like a story - it has a start and a finish and exciting adventures in between. Consider starting with contextualising what is about to come, making information interesting and closing a lecture with a re-cap and a glimpse of what will be next.
  • Make students feel like they matter by using names whenever possible, sharing and praising work well done, and by encouraging students to talk to each other.
  • Create a captive audience to lecturing - find out what students don?t know or struggle with and talk on those questions.
  • Consider the lecture in 15-20 minute blocks varying the classroom experience at least as often. This will help students maintain attention and motivation.
  • Including at least one interactive activity in a lecture can encourage students to actively engage with the subject and their peers.
  • Images can provide a useful way to engage students' attention and a way to transition students from one topic to another.
  • Student attention is at its peak at the beginning and at the end of the lecture period. Consider placing the most important information in those time slots, be it content or administrative information.

Why

Lectures can a great forum for creating enthusiasm for the subject. Using lecture time for activities students cannot do on their own increases the motivation to come to lectures.

Lectures have a potential of being either inspiring or utterly boring. Inspiration assists learning. The design and delivery determines which experience students walk out with.

Difficult subject matter does not have to be boring. Having fun often helps students to learn.

Students learn most effectively when they are actively engaged, see the relevance of what they are doing, feel challenged and even when they have fun!

Examples

  • Run a quiz or a readiness test at the start of a lecture and focus the lecture on the areas students struggled with most. The Business School has portable scanners which allow for quick and easy marking of answers in even large classes. The scanners also produce a spreadsheet of the results, which can be shared with students as a starting point to the lecture.
  • Consider starting a lecture with a 'news flash' on how the topic relates to what is currently in the media, a story why you find the topic exciting, or a question/paradox/enigma you suggest the students will be able to answer by the end of the lecture.
  • To make best of the facilities available in the lecture rooms, consider taking an advantage of University eService support and one-on-one training opportunities.
  • Consider asking students (in writing or in discussion) what was the most important thing they learnt in the lecture and what they a still unclear about. This will help in understanding what gets students attention and what may need more class-time.