Ways to get students to really learn during a lecture

As an undergraduate I usually found that I couldn’t concentrate and follow material in lectures for longer than about 10 minutes at a time (and it doesn’t seem to be just me! [1,2]). If you missed something in a physics lecture it could be very difficult to pick up the thread again. The rest of the lecture would then largely be a waste of time – I would copy everything down without taking it in and try to learn it later.

As a lecturer I have tried different techniques to help students follow the material and to help keep them engaged throughout the lecture. I have had students come up and tell me that they find these lectures different because they actually learn the material during the lecture instead of just copying it down to learn later. So my first blog posts will focus on some of these techniques.

[1] Bligh, D. A. (2000) What’s the Use of Lectures? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.[2] Gibbs, G. & Habeshaw, T. (1989) Preparing to Teach. Bristol: Technical and Educational Services Ltd.

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