Lectures – for better or for worse

Lectures allow us to provide a lot of students with large amounts of information at the same time, but this may come at a price. Students are often passive and may become inattentive so that their learning outcome is not as high as we would like. What can we do to make the most of lectures?

We can optimise lectures in several ways. A good place to start is in the actual planning of lectures. A series of lectures may benefit from being designed as blended learning, with activities between lectures, such as preparation for the next lecture or follow-up on the previous. Furthermore, explanations of very basic topics may be presented as videos for students to watch before the lecture.

Secondly, lecturers can and should include a variety of activities in their lectures that allow students to test their knowledge on the fly: reflection breaks, think-pair-share activities, preferably using an electronic bulletin board (Padlet) to sum-up, and voting exercises with discussions between students (peer instruction). Lecturers’ performance is also very important for a successful lecture. In this context, the presentation itself as well as the lecturer's voice and body language are key factors.  

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers counselling and collaboration as well as courses and workshops on lecturing. We collaborate and provide counselling for lecturers, either individually or in groups. Furthermore, we supervise practical teaching activities using formative written feedback for lecturers ('super-mentoring'). We are also happy to collaborate on major redesign and reorganisation of lecture series.

Courses and workshops

Request a workshop or counselling

CTL offer tailored counselling to lecturers at Aarhus BSS