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Ros OLeary Economics Network Practical ways of making your lectures more interactive
College is a place where a professor's lecture notes go straight to the students' lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either (Mark Twain )
My lecture was a complete success, but the audience was a failure (Anon)
Plan 1.What are the issues with lectures? 2.Your approach to lecturing 3.Activities 4.Student learning of key concepts
1. What makes a good lecture? What would make a bad lecture for your students?
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
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)
2. Your approach to lecturing
Students find it easy to follow what I am saying A.Strongly Agree B.Agree C.Neutral D.Disagree E.Strongly Disagree
Typically what proportion of your lecture do you speak? A.100% B.90–99% C.80–89% D.70–79% E.<70%
Which of the following best describes the most important purpose of lectures? A.To give students a clear set of notes B.To provide a framework for students own work C.To inspire students to learn D.To help students grasp key concepts and theories E.To prepare students for assessment
How would you present an indifference diagram showing income and substitution effects? A.Show the complete diagram and give students time to copy it down. B.Show the complete diagram and give students a copy. C.Show the complete diagram and give students access to it beforehand. D.Build up the diagram giving students time to copy down each step. E.Give students a diagram showing initial equilibrium and then build up the effects of a price change with students annotating their diagram.
A diversion /tips/powerpoint_abuse.htm
3. Activities in lectures
3. Activities 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
3. Activities You must brief your students activities by telling them –exactly what you want them to do –why you are asking them to do this –how much time they have for the activity –what the outcome will be –to watch or listen for the signal you will use to bring the break or activity to a close
3. Activities Examples of activities
Which did you choose on page 1 A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I.
Which did you choose on page 2 A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H.
3. Activities Activities –Tests/quizzes (use of Audience Response System?) –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
[Threshold concepts can be] 'considered akin to passing through a portal, or conceptual gateway, thus opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something'. (Meyers and Land, 2003)
3. Threshold concepts Expose students to how models are used in the economics; why we set up models as we do. Help students to integrate their understanding by: –Highlighting variation in concepts when first introduced –Helping them re-work their understanding of previously acquired concepts in the light of new concepts
A reflective problem Hope City is a Premier League football club playing in Europe next season. It has had enquiries from a well-known Spanish club for its star player (£34 million has been mentioned) who has a number of years to run on his contract. The club needs to managed as a business. Assume that the wage bill remains the same whatever the club does.
What is the cost to the club of keeping the player? A.The value of the next best alternative player B.The cost incurred by the club in developing the player C.The highest offer the club can get for him on the transfer market D.The opportunity cost – the goals and merchandise the player generates E.What the player would be worth in his next best alternative occupation
How would you work out whether or not to keep the player? A.If the club has major cash flow problems and needs the cash it should sell him B.Assess the costs and benefits of selling the player to the club C.Explore the ways in which the club could spend the highest offer and assess whether the cost of keeping the player outweighs the benefits he brings to the club
A relating to other concepts problem A series of rail crashes which involved fatalities has led the government to consider more investment in rail safety measures. How should the government decide whether to invest in additional rail safety measures?
Which economic framework or model would be most useful in helping you decide? A.Choice B.Opportunity cost C.Marginal social costs D.Taxes E.Scarcity F.Marginal social benefits G.Economies of scale H.Elasticity
3. Threshold concepts
Interactive lectures Activities within lectures Activities which help students apply key and threshold concepts Looking at the overall provision in relation to student outcomes Hybrid lectures or replacing lectures with workshops