Monday, 29 February 2016

Brookfield Chapter 6: Lecturing Creatively

We have all sat thru them, the mind numbing, snore inducing drone of a boring lecture. In the chapter of Lecturing Creatively Brookfield speaks of why and when lectures are an appropriate teaching approach and characteristics of lectures that are helpful in the process of learning.  Ask yourself does the use of a lecture help students learn, if so then use it, if not use an approach that is better suited to the material.  He states "a lecture should begin with a statement to students as to why it is being used and what is is intended to accomplish." p.100. Clarifying the relevance of the lecture topic and connection to previous learning is important so students can understand the intention of the instructor. 
Most students have an optimal attention span of about 12 minutes, therefore instructors should talk for no longer than 15 minutes before taking a mini break of at least 2 minutes. Include various modes of teaching, for example, visual aids, guest speaker, short video clips or periods of reflective silence to enhance a lecture.  Other essential components to a stimulating lecture include, speaking from untypical areas in the classroom,  using clear body language and signals to indicate an important point or moving on, using questions to stimulate thought at the beginning and close of the lecture and presenting alternate perspectives of view on the topic.
Most importantly an instructor should regularly review his lecturing thru student evaluation questionnaires like the CIQ, peer reviews or video taping yourself. This will help the instructor to become aware of habits and behaviors that may need modifying or eliminating in order to improve presentations skills.
Brookfield, S., (2006). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom {Jossey-bass Higher and Adult Education Series; 2nd Ed.}. John Wiley & Sons, (US).

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