Monday, 20 August 2018


The best lectures, like any good talk, invite students to think imaginatively and conceptually about a significant theme or problem. They do more than “cover the material.” Professor David Kennedy of History reminds us that a good lecture always offers a point of view and an entry into a field of study. 

It is not, however, the ideal platform for a complex scholarly argument or a massive transfer of data.You should also try for a relaxed, conversational tone; allow yourself to think out loud, and engage with the material as you present it. It’s usually a mistake to rely extensively on a verbatim text, which can result in the kind of mind-numbing performance often parodied in television and movies. Observe students’ non-verbal communication: note taking, response to questions, eye contact, seating patterns, and response to humor. Are they “with” you?.Use the “minute paper” or other assessment techniques. Ask students to respond in one or two sentences to the following questions: What stood out as most important in today’s lecture? What are you confused about? Do this every few lectures—it will take you about 15 minutes to review the responses and you’ll learn an enormous amount about your students.

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