To Lecture, to Communicate, to Collaborate

To Lecture, to Communicate, to Collaborate

To Lecture, to Communicate, to Collaborate

Why do we consistently choose to present lectures as the prime focus for our interaction with learners? And how, in the current climate of promoting student centred approaches can we provide a genuinely engaging process?

We will return to the latter in more detail when dealing with flexible learning approaches, dealing with the former we note a number of ‘arguments’ that persist in expressing ourselves via the lecture:

  • It enables one to present ‘current’ information quite quickly and efficiently
  • It may provide framework for students, upon which to emphasize, aggregate and synthesize information
  • It provides an opportunity to explain concepts, problems and issues
  • It enables the facilitator to help make links between new material and the knowledge and experience of students, often tailoring material to meet their needs
  • It may provide a stimulus to students to question their beliefs and attitude and to encourage further inquiry
  • It provides an opportunity for the facilitator to express their enthusiasm for a topic
  • It may be the only viable solution – in dealing with large numbers, venue issues etc

“Most people tire of a lecture in 10 mins; clever people in 5. Sensible people never go to lectures at all.”
Leacock, S in Sherin , 1995


Suggest a number of responses to deal with the following challenges in introducing active learning in the lecture process.

Challenge Response
Interaction reduces the time for content delivery
Students just want a good set of lecture notes to learn later
The lecture is our opportunity to tell the student things
The students will hate it and will not wish to take any part
The students don’t know enough to be able to talk about it yet
They may end up discussing last nights football or looking at Facebook
Won’t the lecture lose clarity?
What if they ask me things I can’t answer?

Based on Exley et al.

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