Most of my courses at our faculty operate on the basis of lecturing. I greatly liked this chapter and found its application to be thought provoking for me. I will be looking at lecturing differently and try to make modifications to my lectures in order to improve them. Brookfield (2000) discusses five reasons lectures are part of the teaching process. They allow teachers:
- To establish the broad outline of the material.
- To explain, with frequent examples, concepts that learners struggle to understand.
- To introduce alternative perspectives and interpretations.
- To model intellectual attitudes and behaviors you wish to encourage in students.
- To encourage learners’ interest in a topic.
I especially liked the concepts discussed in the communication section of the chapter. We can break our class apart into short sections of approximately 10 minutes in order to introduce new ideas. Small breaks and breakout sessions can be used to apply concepts and introduce application and critical thinking activity. We can use consider social media to demonstrate our teaching and its application. I attended a medical lecture this morning that was scheduled for two hours. The instructor cleverly broke the session up into small sections that were 15-20 minutes. He chose specific and logical stop points. At the end of the first session, he gave the students a diagram to label either individually or as a group. He started the second session by reviewing the diagram and continued lecturing. The second break was a group activity to apply the medical concepts discussed. Students were presented with a scenario and had to devise a plan of action. He started the next break reviewing the last exercise and lectured again. The next break was a true break to allow students to have a ‘mental break’ and feel free to physically stretch. The next section started with a video (from You tube) and tied into the last part of the lecture. I loved watching the way the instructor had broken up the class. I found the students were relaxed and engaged at all times. They were not drifting off. The lecture was organized, clear, and content was presented in a great sequential manner. I have to wonder if the instructor has actually applied the concepts discussed in our textbook.
I plan to do the same as the medical instructor above with some minor changes. I am a true believer of starting the lecture with a question that allows my students to understand why the lecture is important to them. How will the lecture help them in their future life/career? What problem will this lecture help them solve? I will then follow up with my objectives and a mini lesson. At this point, I plan to introduce a few thought provoking application questions and allow time for students to think about possible solutions/approaches. A class discussion will follow and a final wrap up of information will be presented. I like Brookfield’s idea (2000) of ending the lecture with a thought provoking idea or problem. Allow students to have something to ‘mull’ over. I would like to revisit the thought provoking idea that I have left with them at the next session. Conversely, I am thinking about asking them to email a response to the question to me before the next session. This may allow them more time to think about their thoughts and consult peers.
To encourage adequate preparation for lectures, I would like to conduct I-clicker quizzes during some breakout sessions. I will use the results as discussion points. There are lot of other options such as poll survey that can be used. I prefer to use one as to not confuse the class too much with respect to software application.
Brookfield, S. D. (2000). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.