Lectures are by far one of the most common teaching techniques you’ll use, so it’s important to master them. Whether you deliver your lectures online or in person, a teacher who has the ability to explain concepts to students in a simple yet effective way can be a big help. This is especially true when you take the time to ensure that your lectures are engaging and student centered.
Examples of Effective Lectures
- Moral Reasoning 22: Justice (Harvard University)
- Modern Theoretical Physics: Einstein (Stanford Continuing Studies)
Take some time to organize the main points of your lecture and how you’ll deliver those points to your students. You should also take the time to pre-plan questions or activities for your students so they can interact with your content.
Don’t Rush It
Take your time, and don’t be afraid of pauses! Make sure your pauses are long enough to allow students to think about a question you might have asked or let a concept sink in.
The more nervous or uneasy you feel, the more uneasy your audience will feel. When you lecture, look straight at your students and make eye contact. Try not to be too stiff – just blink, breath and move like you normally would. If you are recording your lectures, the same rules apply. Have a one-on-one conversation with the camera, be yourself and let your personality shine through.
- Center for Teaching Excellence (University of Florida):
- Center for Teaching (Vanderbilt University): Lecturing
- Center for Teaching and Learning (Washington University in St. Louis): Lectures
- Dave Carlson, UF College of Journalism and Communications: Performing Online Lectures (.pdf)
- Dave Carlson, UF College of Journalism and Communications: Preparing Your Online Lectures (.pdf)
- James Babanikos, UF College of Journalism and Communications: Preparing and Performing Online Lectures (.pdf)
Diving Deeper/More Research
- Revel & Wainwright (2009): What Makes Lectures “Unmissable?” Insights into Teaching Excellence and Active Learning (.pdf)
- Schmidt et al (2015): On the Use and Misuse of Lectures in Higher Education
- Wood & Su (2017): What Makes an Excellent Lecturer? Academics’ Perspectives on the Discourse of “Teaching Excellence” in Higher Education