Summary: Lectures and Classroom TeachingPrint This Page
What do we mean by lectures and classroom teaching?
Lectures typically involve a member of academic staff talking to a class on a given topic or topics. Students will usually sit listening taking class notes as the tutor works through a presentation or talk relating to the subject. Lectures may involve the introduction and exploration of key concepts and theories relating to a topic, presentation of data or presentations by guest speakers.
In our definition, other classroom teaching may be more participative but will still involve a large degree of tutor input and direction. Examples of classroom teaching fitting these criteria might be larger seminars, sports coaching lessons or a taught laboratory sessions on a science-based course.
Benefits of lectures and classroom teaching
- Large amounts of material can be presented reasonably quickly to large numbers of students.
- They can be specifically focussed on a particular audience or topic.
- Tutors can model certain behaviours and a joy of a topic.
- They appeal to those who prefer to learn by listening or find interactive sessions more challenging.
- Developing a student’s note-taking and listening skills.
- Exposing students to the input of external specialists or experts.
- Tutors are able to control the learning experience.
Concerns and issues with lectures and classroom teaching
- They can fail to provide tutors with feedback on the extent of student learning.
- Attention spans wane quickly in passive environments.
- Students learn at different paces and have different levels of understanding.
- Lectures do not support application, analysis, synthesis, or evaluation.
- Many students prefer more active learning styles.
- Access to the venue and the materials may be a challenge for some students.
Points for reflection
- How does your practice support the needs of students with regard to lectures, seminars and other taught sessions?
- What are the main barriers to you accommodating students’ needs with regard to lectures, seminars and other taught sessions? How can these be overcome?
- What changes to teaching and learning strategies could be made in these situations? How might you do things differently?