A one hour lecture does not mean one hour of delivering content. Staff new to lecturing often make the mistake of cramming far too much into their lecture. Remember you are speaking to an audience of learners who need to take in the new information and digest it. When lecturing, make sure that you break up your lecture with activities.
Always start and end your lecture with the learning outcomes. At the beginning of the lecture, show the learning outcomes that is linked to your lecture, and how the lecture feeds into the students’ assessment. At the end of the lecture, remind the students of the link between lecture content, learning outcomes and assessment activity.
Most lecturers tend to use slides when lecturing. If you do use slides, please stick to the following principles:
- Include as little text as possible. Text should be in hand-outs, not slides.
- Check the colour scheme. Colours look different on your own computer than they do when projected in the lecture theatre.
- Only use animation if it is part of the learning activity (not just for effect)
- Use large font. Make sure students at the back of the class can read your slides.
- Only fill the top two-thirds of the slide
Note-making instead of note-taking
Race (2006) suggests that students should be encouraged to make notes rather than take notes. When students take notes, they will often write down what you say, and they can do that without thinking about what they write. Instead, break off your lecture when you have made a particular important point and ask students to summarise in their own words what you have been talking about. They may even compare their notes to other students’ note to test their understanding.
Questions and answers
At the end of the lecture, if you just ask students if they have any questions, they will see it as a sign to start packing up and leave. Students are often shy when it comes to asking questions, and often they will come up after the lecture and ask you. To encourage students asking questions, let them form small groups and come up with a ‘group question’. These can be written on pieces of paper and passed on to you. Before answering a question, ask the whole group before you answer. Best of all, work towards the answer together with the students.
Make sure that students are aware what seminars are for. You need to stress that it is vital that students come prepared – otherwise they will get little out of seminars. Remember that seminars are not for teaching. Seminars should be facilitated by the lecturer, and students should be actively engaged. Facilitation can be challenging as you need to prevent some students to dominate. Like with lectures, the key outcomes (purpose) of the seminar should be made clear to students.
Race, P. (2006) The Lecturer’s Toolkit (3rd edition). London: Routledge.