Chatboards
Mailrings
Classifieds
Lessons
Jobs
Harry Wong
Projects
Live!
Gazette
Advertise
SUBSCRIBE | SUBMIT
Jan 2017
Vol 14 No 1
BACK ISSUES


12 Ways to Ensure an Effective Lecture

By Susan Fitzell
 




Very few students get excited about a lecture. Even the best teachers have a hard time holding the attention of their students when the class consists solely of lecture. In most cases, students simply learn better when they have a chance to talk to each other, work together to solve problems, and take an active part in their own learning. But that doesn’t mean never lecture – just lecture smartly.

Think about it: there are no professions that involve simply sitting and listening, but the ability to solve problems, work as part of a team and communicate effectively is essential to any job.

In the study Collaborative Learning vs. Lecture/Discussion, published in the Journal for Engineering Education, students in a collaborative learning environment reported that they spent more time working together, learning from each other, and actually applying the concepts they’d learned… and, at the end of the year, the students in the collaborative classes reported (on average) more progress than the students in the lecture classes.

Consider the following ideas to help you make your lectures more interactive, interesting, and hands-on.

    1. Whenever possible, use lecture primarily for mini-lessons. Short is sweet.
    2. Include material that is not in the textbook. Textbook recitations don’t excite! Effective lectures present material that can’t simply be read from the book. Use the book as a jumping off point, not a lesson plan.
    3. Mix it up. Keep your style dynamic, not static. Make good eye contact, establish a relationship with the audience and vary the ways you engage with students.
    4. Use group work as a part of the lecture. Pause for a few minutes at two or three points in the lecture and ask students to discuss what they’ve learned amongst themselves. This will help with reinforcement and give students time to catch up and consolidate their notes. It also gives you time to assess the class, ask questions of individuals and listen to your students.
    5. Show enthusiasm for the subject. If you don’t seem to care about the material your students won’t care either.
    6. Quality, not quantity. Don’t overwhelm your students with new information. Studies show that the more new material there is in a lecture, the less information students actually retain from the lecture. Assign readings, use online discussion boards, and direct students to pertinent articles on the Web in addition to shorter lectures.
    7. Generate curiosity about the lecture material early in the lecture. Introduce new ideas and push students to develop their own perspectives.
    8. Keep it organized and don’t veer off course. Start with a brief outline of what you want to talk about, then use “signposts” to keep your students on track (For example: “Now I want to talk about…,” “That’s the end of our discussion of…”).
    9. Check in with your students – not just at the end of the lecture but throughout the class. Summarize each part of your lecture, then check for questions and direct some questions to the class to gauge understanding. Always encourage active discussion, but avoid tangents to keep your lecture moving forward.
    10. Use the “rule of threes.” People simply like information presented in threes – beginning, middle, and end. A typical student’s concentration starts to wane after 10-12 minutes, so chunking information during longer lessons allows students to process more effectively.
    11. Don’t over-rely on technology. Use PowerPoint slides and the internet to support discussion with visuals and main points.
    12. Always integrate collaborative learning with lecture. A lecture should never be just a teacher standing in front of the class talking “at” students.

About the author

Susan Fitzell is a nationally recognized speaker and author of several educational resource books. She has over two decades of experience with differentiated instruction, teaching youth with special needs, students with behavioral and anger management issues, and students who experience bullying.

Susan’s company, AIMHI Educational Programs, focuses on building caring school communities. aimhieducational.com

 

 



Comment on this article...

Next Article...
 
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 and is filed under *ISSUES, December 2011, Susan Fitzell. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.8 No.12 December 2011

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Importance of Culture
What results would you expect if you had over $15 billion to spend to effect change?


Cover Story by Bill Page
If You're Gonna Be a Camel, Ya Gotta Have a Hump
I failed in the very essence of my job: my teaching didn't get through to kids' heads....

Articles
»Coaching the Urban Educator - Positive Self-Talk: Your Personal Guidance CounselorAndrea Cleveland
»CancerQuest: Cancer Education CurriculumNews Desk
»12 Ways to Ensure an Effective LectureSusan Fitzell
»Featured Lessons, Crafts, Activities for DecemberTeachers.Net Resources
»Apple Seed Quotes for EducatorsBarb Stutesman
»Flash Tutorials for Biological SciencesNews Desk
»Bacon-Wrapped DatesTeachers.Net Community
»Characteristics of a Truly Great PrincipalTeachers.Net Community
»Polar Express Theme Lessons, ActivitiesTeachers.Net Community
»Light On A Snowy Day - A Story for ChildrenArtie Knapp
»New Book "The You We Adore" Celebrates Adoptive LoveNews Desk
»Printables Created by PreK-12 Teachers - FREETeachers.Net Community
»5 Web Sites for Busy EducatorsMarjan Glavac
»Engagement Beyond the ClassroomDr. Brad Johnson & Tammy Maxson McElroy
»Lost Libyan Cities Discovered After Gadhafi - New Archaeological Discovery Attracts International Attention (Resources)News Desk
»Harm Reduction - Realistic Approach To Addictions?Robert Rose
»If You’re Gonna Be a Camel, YaGotta Have a Hump; But, Nobody Says You’ve Gotta Be a Camel.Bill Page
»Into the Woods: Kindergarten Play a Reminder that Every Day of School is an Epic JourneyTodd Nelson
»Learning Centers with a Christmas Theme - Karen's PreK PageKaren Cox
»December is... Special Days this MonthRon Victoria
»If Teachers Cannot Connect to Themselves, They Will Not Connect With Students!Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
»Best Butter Cookies Ever - Shared by MagooTeachers.Net Community
»Learning the Value of DiversityLeah Davies
»Draw a Winter SnowfallTim Newlin
»Christmas Dreams - Original Song by Tim NewlinTim Newlin
»Smackdown: Pangrelor vs. Middle Earth by Robert Louis Smith, Author of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the ShamalansNews Desk
»Work Refusers: Remedies That WorkRuth Herman Wells
»Labels, Toxic Psychiatry, Empathic TherapyRobert Rose
»Let's Get Our Priorities in OrderAnita Swigart

By State
AL   AK   AZ   AR   CA   CO   CT   DE   DC   FL   GA   HI   ID   IL   IN   IA   KS   KY   LA    ME   MD   MA   MI   MN   MS   MO   MT   NE   NV   NH   NJ   NM   NY   NC   ND   OH   OK   OR   PA   RI   SC   SD   TN   TX   UT   VT     VA   WA   WV   WI   WY