Engaging Lectures

Are You Not Entertained? How to Build a Dynamic Lecture

Since the 1990s, I’ve put the lecture on indefinite hold and replaced it with alternative methods that are looked down upon, such as popcorn reading, multiple-choice quizzes, test-prep drills, lower-level “recitation” questions, crossword puzzles, and other such activities. In spite of this, the reality is that there are very few practises that can be categorically categorised as either excellent or poor because to the limitless number of students, curriculum options, and instructional strengths. In addition, reducing the legitimacy of educators’ professional decisions dilutes their influence. I’ll get back to you on that concept.

Next a brief discussion of the debate surrounding lectures, the following paragraphs will examine the reasons why this educational technique deserves some love, followed by suggestions on how to increase the effectiveness of lectures.

Debating the Lecture Method

The majority of teachers are in agreement that there has been an excessive reliance on the lecture format ever since the Middle Ages. The question of whether or not it has more positives than negatives as a method of teaching is where people’s opinions diverge. These are just some of the many reasons why people stop attending lectures:

In his key piece from 1981 titled Twenty Terrible Reasons for Lecturing, Graham Gibb argues against the concept that we are able to effectively “beam” information into the skulls of students.
Students have reported a preference for having fewer lectures, which may be attributable to their short attention spans.
The vast majority of professional teaching associations endorse the use of more participatory teaching approaches.
On the other hand, the utilisation of lectures is supported by a number of compelling arguments, including the following:

According to certain research, students who attend lectures have better levels of academic accomplishment; however, this may be due to the fact that some teachers are not skilled in the art of enabling student-centered interactions.
A well-thought-out oral presentation, on the other hand, can lead students into more fruitful ways of thinking. This is in contrast to whole-class discussions, which often leave students confused.

How to Build a Better Lecture

Because lecturing is an activity that is required of all teachers at some point or another, we have the obligation to develop our oral presentation skills to the fullest possible extent. The following are some suggestions for accomplishing exactly that.

Determine Your Objectives and Clearly Communicate Them To Your Pupils You should begin by providing your students with an understanding of your goals. This method is demonstrated in a video that lasts for around half an hour and is titled How to Speak: Lecture Tips from Patrick Winston. When Winston said that his speech “may make the difference between a career-launching experience and a career-busting experience,” I was immediately interested in what he had to say.

Engage Your Audience Immediately: There’s a chance that your students won’t share your enthusiasm for Shelley, Pythagoras, or the Magna Carta. Shocker! One answer to this problem is to add some originality to your presentation. How?

Ask students to tweet any questions they may have on the topic, and then make it your goal to address those questions during your presentation.
Find another work on PoemHunter that is similar to the topic at hand, and read that one in order to add some context. Establish a connection between the issue at hand and contemporary music or personalities who are of interest to children.
Share a tale that relates to the material. Back when I was in high school, one of my teachers would always begin the day by telling a story about a student named Mike who never opened his history textbook. Mike joined the army after he from high school, and he was later murdered in the Tet Offensive. That narrative served as a captivating opener for an enlightening presentation about the Vietnam War.
Toss It Around: Don’t be a stick in the mud. When you give a lecture, try utilising a variety of presentation styles, formats, and media, such as Pecha Kucha, the 60-Second Lecture, or the Punctuated Lecture. I make use of the dozens of “change up” lecture tactics that Joan Middendor and Alan Kalish compiled and which I resort to multiple times throughout the semester.
Engage In Conversation With Your Students: Excellent lecturers and orators are good listeners. They are so observant that they can detect any change in the breathing patterns of their listeners. For them, giving a lecture is an act of closeness, which is a quality that cannot be replicated in online video courses. They make room for questions at several transition points in the presentation. However, you shouldn’t begin these exchanges by asking, “Do you have any questions?” A question along the lines of “What aspects of this are still a little unclear or perplexing for you?” may prove to be more useful. or “What exactly do you need me to explain once more?”

Bring Excellent Materials: For help with the design of interesting lecture handouts, check out the works of Anna Johnson and Oliver Adria, “Good Handout Design: How to Make Sure Your Students are Actually Learning from your Lecture Notes” and “How to Write a Presentation Handout: 5 Effective Ideas,” respectively. Stay away from poor PowerPoint presentations.

Less is More: Deliver shorter, more concise presentations and give lectures less frequently. The majority of students view a lecture that lasts longer than 15 minutes as a “miserable safari.”

You need not be concerned about utilising the “wrong” style of instruction. Always choose the strategy that involves developing your professional skills as well as your reactions to how the pupils experience the approaches you use. Robert Pirsig, in his book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” provided the clearest expression of the strength of professional wisdom “Those who have never dealt with steel are going to have a difficult time understanding this… If you are competent enough, you can form steel into any shape you desire; if you are not good enough, you can form it into any shape other than the one you want.”