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Teaching in the Lecture Theatre Or teaching to large groups Neil Currant, Academic Development Advisor, LDU n.currant@salford.ac.uk
Session Outline Expectations Starting Points – Definitions etc. Practical Ideas
Learning Outcomes To have an understanding of the basic principles of working in a lecture room. To have resources which you can follow up to learn more. To have some ideas of how to push the boundaries of your current practice.
What messages does the lecture room give? To learn is to acquire information Information is scarce and hard to find Trust authority for good information Authorized information is beyond discussion Obey the authority From Wesch (2009) ALT-C Keynote
What comes to mind when thinking of teaching a large group lecture? Notes:
Definitions What do we mean by large group? Over 30 =  , over 50 = , over 100 =  The number which places a constraint on what we think we can do? My own comfort The number which places a constraint on the types of activity we can do? What is actually possible.
Definitions What do we mean by lecture? Write you definition on a piece of paper. The way we deliver? The content we deliver? The physical space we are in? Can it be whatever you want it to be?
Delivery “The classroom lecture is a special form of communication in which voice, gesture, movement, facial expression, and eye contact can either complement or detract from the content. No matter what your topic, your delivery and manner of speaking immeasurably influence your students' attentiveness and learning.” Barbara Davis. http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/delivering.htmlthis website also includes some really useful tips for delivery.
Student perspective 1 59% of students find their lectures boring half the time and 30% find most or all of their lectures to be boring. (Mann & Robinson, 2009) ‘And how many times have we students heard “unfortunately this is quite a boring part of the course, but it really is important”’ What makes a good lecturer? Enthusiasm, approachable, understand the learning perspective of students, give their time after lectures, open-minded, motivated, engage in a process of sharing, passion. (Rieutort-Louis, 2009)
Student Perspective 2 For new students: contrast with school  / college More self-reliance is required, e.g. What to do, note taking, information overload Depersonalised / anonymous Peer factors ‘fear factor’ of speaking / asking questions in a large group behaviour
Starting Talk to students before you start, establish rapport Grab their attention. Signal the start Announce the objectives.
During Voice: vary tone, conversational style. Language: simple, concrete, use anecdotes Well Organised Material (but don’t overdo the prep!) Enthusiasm Clear visual aids Vary activity...
Finishing Finish forcefully – don’t let it fizzle out “Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”  Dorothy Sarnoff Summarise / conclude Be prepared to talk to students afterwards (if you have time).
Activity Quizzes / Questions (show of hands, team, paper based...) Short writing activity Short reading activity (e.g. read an article) Debate / student presentations (prepared in advance for a particular session) See Davis, SEDA Special 13 Write own exam question based on material presented earlier in lecture. Pair discussion, Buzz groups, Snowballing, syndicate groups. (Gibbs & Habeshaw1989)
Resources for the lecture Demonstrations	 Models	 Video Images Case studies Worksheets Journal Articles Videos on large group teaching at Nottingham http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pesl/resources/largegroup/
Planning & structuring the lecture Think: What learning are you trying to stimulate? How does this lecture link to others? What added value is there in your presence?  Do: Break the lecture up with into sections, provide opportunity for student –lecturer & student – student interaction, be explicit. Remember: what are you doing? What are students doing?
Theory Underpinning is based on constructivism, e.g. Piaget, Bruner, Biggs  learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. Reflective practice
Pushing the boundaries Wesch - vision of students today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o&feature=PlayList&p=3D942C2F6CBAE121&index=0&playnext=1 Student response systems for Q&A, quizzes. Use of Twitter / SMS / email etc. for getting student Qs or feedback during the session. Think outside of the walls: use the campus as a learning space & Simulations e.g. Anthropology 101 class: http://www.youtube.com/user/mwesch?blend=7&ob=4#play/uploads/4/JgbfMY-6giY Replacing lectures using technology, e.g. podcasts and have seminars instead. [Your ideas here]
Summary Teaching a large group is NOT just about delivering non-stop for 50 minutes with the students being passive. Students need to engage through: the way we deliver,  the resources we use the activities we integrate. Teaching is as much an art form as science, it is very close to acting - so enjoy it!!
Bibliography Davis (nd), Practical Ideas for Enhancing Lectures,  SEDA Special 13 Gibbs & Habeshaw (1989) Preparing to Teach, Technical and Educational Services Ltd, Bristol Mann & Robinson (2009) Boredom in the lecture theatre: an investigation into the contributors, moderators and outcomes of boredom amongst university studentsBritish Educational Research Journal, 35(2) pp. 243 – 258 Rieutort-Louis (2009) What Makes a Good Lecturer? Academy Exchange Issue 8 Smith (nd), Lecturing to Large Groups, SEDA Special 1 Young, Robinson & Alberts (2009) Students pay Attention! Combating the vigilance decrement to improve learning during lectures, Active Learning in Higher Education,  10(1) pp. 41–55 For further advice please contact the learning development unit (LDU) or come to one of our workshops. LDU-Queries@salford.ac.uk www.ldu.salford.ac.uk

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Lecturing in HE

  • 1. Teaching in the Lecture Theatre Or teaching to large groups Neil Currant, Academic Development Advisor, LDU n.currant@salford.ac.uk
  • 2. Session Outline Expectations Starting Points – Definitions etc. Practical Ideas
  • 3. Learning Outcomes To have an understanding of the basic principles of working in a lecture room. To have resources which you can follow up to learn more. To have some ideas of how to push the boundaries of your current practice.
  • 4. What messages does the lecture room give? To learn is to acquire information Information is scarce and hard to find Trust authority for good information Authorized information is beyond discussion Obey the authority From Wesch (2009) ALT-C Keynote
  • 5. What comes to mind when thinking of teaching a large group lecture? Notes:
  • 6. Definitions What do we mean by large group? Over 30 = , over 50 = , over 100 = The number which places a constraint on what we think we can do? My own comfort The number which places a constraint on the types of activity we can do? What is actually possible.
  • 7. Definitions What do we mean by lecture? Write you definition on a piece of paper. The way we deliver? The content we deliver? The physical space we are in? Can it be whatever you want it to be?
  • 8. Delivery “The classroom lecture is a special form of communication in which voice, gesture, movement, facial expression, and eye contact can either complement or detract from the content. No matter what your topic, your delivery and manner of speaking immeasurably influence your students' attentiveness and learning.” Barbara Davis. http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/delivering.htmlthis website also includes some really useful tips for delivery.
  • 9. Student perspective 1 59% of students find their lectures boring half the time and 30% find most or all of their lectures to be boring. (Mann & Robinson, 2009) ‘And how many times have we students heard “unfortunately this is quite a boring part of the course, but it really is important”’ What makes a good lecturer? Enthusiasm, approachable, understand the learning perspective of students, give their time after lectures, open-minded, motivated, engage in a process of sharing, passion. (Rieutort-Louis, 2009)
  • 10. Student Perspective 2 For new students: contrast with school / college More self-reliance is required, e.g. What to do, note taking, information overload Depersonalised / anonymous Peer factors ‘fear factor’ of speaking / asking questions in a large group behaviour
  • 11. Starting Talk to students before you start, establish rapport Grab their attention. Signal the start Announce the objectives.
  • 12. During Voice: vary tone, conversational style. Language: simple, concrete, use anecdotes Well Organised Material (but don’t overdo the prep!) Enthusiasm Clear visual aids Vary activity...
  • 13. Finishing Finish forcefully – don’t let it fizzle out “Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.” Dorothy Sarnoff Summarise / conclude Be prepared to talk to students afterwards (if you have time).
  • 14. Activity Quizzes / Questions (show of hands, team, paper based...) Short writing activity Short reading activity (e.g. read an article) Debate / student presentations (prepared in advance for a particular session) See Davis, SEDA Special 13 Write own exam question based on material presented earlier in lecture. Pair discussion, Buzz groups, Snowballing, syndicate groups. (Gibbs & Habeshaw1989)
  • 15. Resources for the lecture Demonstrations Models Video Images Case studies Worksheets Journal Articles Videos on large group teaching at Nottingham http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pesl/resources/largegroup/
  • 16. Planning & structuring the lecture Think: What learning are you trying to stimulate? How does this lecture link to others? What added value is there in your presence? Do: Break the lecture up with into sections, provide opportunity for student –lecturer & student – student interaction, be explicit. Remember: what are you doing? What are students doing?
  • 17. Theory Underpinning is based on constructivism, e.g. Piaget, Bruner, Biggs learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. Reflective practice
  • 18. Pushing the boundaries Wesch - vision of students today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o&feature=PlayList&p=3D942C2F6CBAE121&index=0&playnext=1 Student response systems for Q&A, quizzes. Use of Twitter / SMS / email etc. for getting student Qs or feedback during the session. Think outside of the walls: use the campus as a learning space & Simulations e.g. Anthropology 101 class: http://www.youtube.com/user/mwesch?blend=7&ob=4#play/uploads/4/JgbfMY-6giY Replacing lectures using technology, e.g. podcasts and have seminars instead. [Your ideas here]
  • 19. Summary Teaching a large group is NOT just about delivering non-stop for 50 minutes with the students being passive. Students need to engage through: the way we deliver, the resources we use the activities we integrate. Teaching is as much an art form as science, it is very close to acting - so enjoy it!!
  • 20. Bibliography Davis (nd), Practical Ideas for Enhancing Lectures, SEDA Special 13 Gibbs & Habeshaw (1989) Preparing to Teach, Technical and Educational Services Ltd, Bristol Mann & Robinson (2009) Boredom in the lecture theatre: an investigation into the contributors, moderators and outcomes of boredom amongst university studentsBritish Educational Research Journal, 35(2) pp. 243 – 258 Rieutort-Louis (2009) What Makes a Good Lecturer? Academy Exchange Issue 8 Smith (nd), Lecturing to Large Groups, SEDA Special 1 Young, Robinson & Alberts (2009) Students pay Attention! Combating the vigilance decrement to improve learning during lectures, Active Learning in Higher Education, 10(1) pp. 41–55 For further advice please contact the learning development unit (LDU) or come to one of our workshops. LDU-Queries@salford.ac.uk www.ldu.salford.ac.uk

Editor's Notes

  1. Activity: Quick word association from audience, shout out. Don’t think too much just your 1st thought.
  2. Activity: Show of hands for over 30, over 50, over 100 studentsDo something's not scale up from smaller groups.
  3. Write down you definition of a lecture. I will ask for contributions in 2 minutes.
  4. Do we agree? show of hands for yes.
  5. The consequences of being bored included students missing future lectures and there was also a significant association between level of boredom and grade point average. The most important teaching factor contributing to student boredom is the use of PowerPoint slides.
  6. Ask them
  7. “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre.” Gail Godwin, author in The Odd Woman“It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” Mark Twain
  8. Pt.1 - Classic example is in American films when a buzzer sounds and the teacher is left shouting out final instructions as the students leave.Dorothy Sarnoff was an image consultant.
  9. Do reading activity
  10. Get them to answer the last of the think questions? E.g. Relevant authority on content, able to explain if they don’t understand, can judge levels of understanding and adapt presentation, can explain in different ways that different learners may find useful.
  11. Give the example that even though I am standing in front of you and you all hear the same thing the meaning you take from what I say is ‘coloured’ by your previous experiences and each of you will leave with a slightly different understanding.e.g. Abstract scientific concepts
  12. Can you think of your own ideas. Work in groups of four to come up with a list of how to push the boundaries with the lecture slot.
  13. e.g. Get involvement / activity 1st, to get you thinking, to set a tone (you can’t just be passive).