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Research-Based Strategies to Enhance Lecture Effectiveness
José Antonio Bowen
Paper: 978 1 62036 617 2 / $24.95
Published: July 2017
Cloth: 978 1 62036 616 5 / $95.00
Published: July 2017
Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 618 9 / $95.00
About Library E-Book
Published: July 2017
E-Book: 978 1 62036 619 6 / $19.99
Published: July 2017
6" x 9"
2 figures, 1 table
The Excellent Teacher Series
Is the lecture an outmoded teaching method that inhibits active learning or is it a potentially powerful tool that is an essential part of every teacher’s repertoire?
This book presents up-to-date research on the different types of lecture, on what constitutes effective lecturing, and on the impact of lecturing when done appropriately and well. It fills the void in professional development resources on how to lecture, validating the practice when it’s aligned with the educational mission of creating engaged learning environments.
Christine Harrington and Todd Zakrajsek demonstrate that, rather than lecture and active learning being mutually exclusive or either-or propositions, the effectiveness of the former can be greatly enhanced when combined with active learning techniques through what they define as dynamic lecturing; and provide context about the need to balance these approaches to meet the needs of students as they progress from novice to advanced learners.
They present a range of strategies that enhance student learning during lectures. They open each chapter with the evidence behind each lecturing strategy they describe, and conclude with practical suggestions for quick application in the classroom. They offer readers the lecture planning and evaluation tools for reworking their lectures in ways that provide high-level engagement and achievement for their students.
The opening section of the book explores the benefits of lecturing and describes the different modalities of lecture, with an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each. The second section focuses on educational strategies to enhance the lecture, including, among others, activating prior knowledge, emphasizing important points, effectively using multi-media, making concepts meaningful via examples, and the importance of retrieval practice. Each covers the underlying theory and research, and advice on how to align the engagement techniques with instructional goals. The book concludes with guidance on effective planning for lecturing and helping chairs, administrators, or peers engage in effective evaluation of the lecture.
This is a dynamic resource for all faculty interested in revitalizing their teaching. The strategies are succinct, easy to incorporate into lectures and, done well, will have immediate impact and increase student mastery of course content.
Table of Contents:
Foreword by José Antonio Bowen
Part One: Exploring the Lecture
1) The Lecture as a Teaching Strategy
2) Types of Lectures
Part Two: Enhancing Lectures
3) Activating Prior Knowledge
4) Capturing Attention and Emphasizing Important Points
5) Effectively Using Multimedia and Technology
6) Making it Meaningful Through Examples
7) Reflection Opportunities
8) Retrieval Practice
9) Questions for Critical Thinking
Part Three: Planning and Evaluating Lectures
10) Planning Effective Lectures
11) Evaluating Lectures
YGT Podcast Book Review
Reviews & Endorsements:
“Against the prevailing tide in higher education, Christine Harrington and Todd Zakrajsek argue that lectures, when prepared well and incorporated appropriately, are one of the most effective ways to enhance learning. The first part of their book is focused on making this case and on delineating the different forms a lecture can take. The second part of the book focuses on ways to make lectures more effective for learners. The third part provides tools and resources for preparing and evaluating lectures. These final two chapters give helpful rubrics, charts, and questionnaires that can easily be adapted for one’s own lectures or for evaluating others’ lectures. This book would be a useful addition to an individual professor’s library and, most especially, to a center for teaching and learning library.”
- Reflective Teaching (Wabash Center)
"This book is a valuable resource for college professors and teachers for stimulating the engagement and learning of their students. Harrington and Zakrajsek have put together an array of lecture techniques and strategies (supported by evidence-based research), and as such, they demonstrate how we can use lectures as an effective teaching tool for moving our students to be more interested in their own learning. All in all, this book is an excellent resource for our learner-centered classrooms where lecturing and active learning are combined."
- Kathleen Gabriel, Associate Professor, School of Education
California State University, Chico
"This book is masterful in its ability to use modern research and thinking as a lens to inform an age-old method. As an advocate for inclusive teaching, it is wonderful to have a tool that honors this invaluable approach to instruction for both teachers and those they teach! I hope this book can help people who often use lecture as a last resort (like me), better embrace lecture for the powerful tool that it is."
- Carl S. Moore, Ph.D., Assistant Chief Academic Officer
University of the District of Columbia
Student engagement has become such a dominant educational buzz word that it has almost become an educational end in itself—a learning outcome rather than what it really is—a learning process.
could not come at a better time. It brings balance back to the pendulum by reminding us that student-centered activities should not be used to displace and replace the lecture, but to complement and augment it. This book meticulously documents how deep learning can and does occur when knowledgeable instructors share their knowledge with passion and enthusiasm, when they enliven academic content with meaningful personal stories, and when they model higher-level thinking skills for their students to emulate.
The book provides solid research-based evidence for the power of lectures and extensive evidence-based practices for magnifying their power. That being said, this book is much more than a book about lecturing. It demonstrates how lectures can be incorporated into an effective instructional sequence and seamlessly integrated with student questioning, student writing, small-group work, educational technology, and student assessment.
is really a book about effective college teaching. It will make a valuable contribution to the professional development of current and future faculty.
- Joseph B. Cuseo, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Psychology Educational Advisor
AVID for Higher Education
From the Foreword:
“This is an excellent and practical book and it will improve student learning in your classes, and that—without qualification—is what we all desire. If you are going to lecture anyway (and you are) you might as well get better at it. If you have limited time and too many students (and you do) then you could hardly ask for a more efficient and concise guide to making quick improvements that will make you a better teacher. Hallelujah that Christine and Todd had both the expertise and motivation to give us this wonderful new resource.”
- José Antonio Bowen, President
"The authors of this book reorient and reintroduce readers to lecturing by providing best practices built upon the research regarding learning. Through this approach,
dispels the false binary that often exists in active learning versus lecturing narratives. Whether you are new to teaching or are deep into your instructional career, you will find enormous benefits by reading this book.”
- C. Edward Watson, Associate Vice President, Association of American Colleges and Universities and co-author of Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes
“This book provides so many practical ways to apply neuroscience and cognitive psychology research in the classroom for more intentional teaching and better student outcomes. From developing lecture examples to carefully choosing your questions, this book reveals the specific adjustments in planning that will help to create the best learning environment for your students! I have already begun to incorporate many of these ideas into my classroom planning and my students are much more involved with the content! Fantastic book!”
- Kathy Nabours, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Riverside City College
"Finally, a book that lifts lecturing out of the land of ill-repute and positions it squarely in the midst of active learning strategies. Harriman and Zakrajsek present a plethora of simple strategies, based on numerous research studies, that will actively engage students in learning. This is a must read for faculty who want to use lecturing as a tool to improve students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills."
- Saundra McGuire, Director Emerita, Center for Academic Success
Louisiana State University
"Headline news! Students can learn from lectures! This is Harrington and Zakrajsek’s convincing, evidence-based argument. Their book is the first one on lecturing since Bligh’s fifth edition of
What’s the Use of Lectures?
published back in 1998. Academia really needs
, especially because the lecture is still the most popular teaching method around. So let’s stop trashing it and just do it well by 'accessorizing' it in some of the many low-effort ways Harrington and Zakrajsek recommend."
- Linda B. Nilson, Director Emeritus, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation
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