Educators have used the lecture format for literally hundreds of years to instruct learners and impart knowledge. Indeed, it is a highly efficient means of knowledge transfer as one person can lecture to large numbers of students, although certainly many other mechanisms of even more efficient means of knowledge transfer are now conveniently available. Lecture, especially in the typical version of unidirectional delivery with minimal to no opportunity for audience interaction, is limited in moving learners toward application. While the lecture format is not inherently ineffective, it has become less popular in the last twenty-five years as studies have demonstrated its limitations, and methods of information dissemination have exploded and technology has transformed our student’s perceptional processes. Students want to be involved in the learning process; they need to be given opportunities for active experimentation, abstract conceptualization, reflective observation, and concrete experience (Kolb, 1984).
Is the answer to do away with lectures? Not necessarily. Lectures do provide an opportunity for students to receive some understanding (not simply information) from people who through their passion and/or experience provide unique perspectives on their material, and use the lecture stage to “think out loud” rather than simply deliver information. Short “framing” lectures can be very useful before or after students have had the opportunity to engage with material through small group discussion, and/or problem solving application.
How, then, do we interact with our students during a lecture? Below you will find a few tools that provide practical ideas to make us more effective lecturers—interactive lecturers—to nourish student involvement and experimentation.
Interactive lecturing: Strategies for increasing participation in large group presentations
Interactive lecturing involves an increased interchange between teachers, students and the lecture content. The use of interactive lectures can promote active learning, heighten attention and motivation, give feedback to the teacher and the student, and increase satisfaction for both. This article describes a number of interactive techniques that can be used in large group presentations as well as general strategies that can promote interactivity during lectures.
Interactive Lectures Summaries of 36 Formats
Content-specific ideas for making lectures more engaging and interactive.
Lecturing and Powerpoint
A presentation by Dr. Carla Lupi delivered in June 2011. Tips and rules-of thumb for creating learner-centered presentations and lectures.