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1 John Sloman Economics Network Making your lectures more effective


3 Tell me and I will forget Show me and I will remember Involve me and I will understand Step back and I will act (Chinese proverb)

4 I've taught Snoopy to whistle I can't hear him whistle I said that I'd taught him, not that he'd learned

5 Plan 1.What makes a good lecture? 2.Lecturing and student learning 3.Student preparation for lectures 4.Lecture structure and content 5.Effective presentation 6.Activities and breaks 7.Overcoming barriers to active learning 8.Building on the lecture

6 1. What makes a good lecture? What would make a bad lecture for your students?

7 What makes a good lecture? Problems with traditional lectures –Too much focus on content to be covered –Not enough focus on student learning Focus on student learning –Recording –Motivation –Involvement –Understanding A lecture exercise

8 2. Lecturing and student learning Student learning in lectures.. What are the intended learning outcomes? Are popular lectures good lectures? –Entertaining? –Spoonfeeding? Learning styles –Visual, aural, conceptual: encourage variety Active and passive learning.. Deep and surface learning

9 2. Lecturing and student learning Surface learning encouraged by –Heavy workload –Lack of independence –Passive learning –Assessment encouraging recall –Lack of interest Deep learning encouraged by –Active involvement –Relating to experience –Choices –Progressive subject development –Applications


11 3. Student preparation Getting background information –Data –Case material Revisiting previous material –Start with a test Getting students to identify issues –Use of the VLE Assigning prior reading –Again, start with a test

12 4. Lecture structure and content Clear structure –Mapping / overview –Issues to be addressed Not too much material.. Examples Mixing presentation with student activities

13 4. Lecture structure and content Lecture session plan


15 5. Effective presentation Communication –Keep in eye contact with your audience –Project yourself Pace –Speed of talking; diction –Coverage Notes.. –What do you want students to do? –Writing versus listening –What do you give them?


17 5. Effective presentation Using PowerPoint / OHTs / board –How much to write? –Do you want students to copy? Talking and writing on the board? Talking over PowerPoint slides –Posting notes in advance? Presenting graphs and equations –Make it active Partially complete diagrams/equations –Careful use of colour

18 5. Effective presentation Some PowerPoint tips –Dont put too much on the screen –Use colour and design carefully –Animated diagrams –Moving from screen to screen: cntl slide# –Use black screen (press b) –Hyperlinking –Avoid death by PowerPoint

19 Ways of making your lecture more effective 5. Effective presentation

20 6. Activities and breaks Do not talk for the whole hour! –Diminishing returns Attention wanes Comprehension and learning declines –Give students things to do that aid their learning Dont worry about not covering so much –Even give them a break

21 6. Activities and breaks Examples of activities and breaks

22 6. Activities and breaks Activities –Tests/quizzes (use of PRS?).. –Brief discussion with neighbour e.g. policy implications List of advantages / disadvantages –Doing a calculation / completing a diagram –Worksheets Hybrid between lecture and workshop Break –Watch video –Compare notes –Tidy up your own notes –Entertainment

23 6. Building on the lecture Note takers –Post on discussion board –Use for seminars Post questions on discussion board –Use it as FAQ –Start debate going with students Directly link to seminars/workshops –Material covered –Activities in the lecture Online study guide: your own or published –Think of incentives for use Preparation for next lecture

24 When students are constrained to the role of listeners while a lecturer delivers a monologue, they tend to be passive, not only at a behavioural level, but on a cognitive level as well They do not engage actively in the kinds of elaborative information processing that helps to ensure understanding, retention and transfer Active and Passive learning Jessica Ball, Strategies for Promoting Active Learning in Large Classes, Journal of teaching Practice, vol 3, 1994

25 Learning is fundamentally about making and maintaining connections: biologically through neural networks; mentally among concepts, ideas and meanings; and experientially through interaction between the mind and the environment, self and other, generality and context, deliberation and action. Learning is enhanced by taking place in the context of a compelling situation that balances challenges and opportunity, simulating the brains ability to conceptualize quickly and its capacity and need for contemplation and reflection upon experiences. Learning James Eison, Teaching Strategies for the Twenty-first Century, 2002

26 Comparing lectures in which 90% v 70% v 50% of the sentences disseminated new information (with the remaining time in case being used for restating, highlighting significance, giving more examples, and relating to the students prior experience) it was found that students given the lower level of new content learned and retained the lecture information better. Less is more Russell, I.J. et al., 1984, Effects of lecture information density on medical student achievement, Journal of Medical Education 59: 881-9

27 Evidence suggests that for immediate recall of a lecture, students who take most notes themselves come out best and those who rely on tutor notes come out worst. In the medium term (a couple of weeks) those who listened, but took no notes, came out best. Longer term, and with the chance for revision, those who took no notes came out worst, and those how have tutor notes come out best. Note taking Liz Barnett, LSE, 2003

28 Audience response system

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