Dynamic Lecturing

What is dynamic lecturing?

  • Lecturing has been the main teaching strategy for a long time; however, in recent years there has been a shift to incorporate active learning in the classroom for a more student-centered approach (Harrington & Zakrajsek, 2017). Some faculty have misinterpreted this shift to active learning to mean that the lecture should be abandoned. However, lecturing continues to be an important method for disseminating course content to students, and it should not be abandoned, but instead made more effective by being dynamic and interactive.
  • Dynamic lecturing is a research-based teaching strategy that combines lecturing with active learning strategies (Harrington & Zakrajsek, 2017).
  • Lecturing and active learning do not have to be exclusive.
  • Lecturing can be more effective when combined with active learning strategies. If active learning strategies are incorporated into lectures, high-level engagement and achievement for students can be achieved.

Why are lectures important?

  • Help novice learners and early undergraduate students understand key content
  • Help increase cognitive and emotional engagement when there is a good story
  • Help students build foundational knowledge to engage in active learning strategies for application and integration

What are different types of lectures?

  • Formal or paper-reading lectures
  • Storytelling
  • Discussion-based
  • Visually-enhanced
  • Demonstration
  • Online
  • Interactive

What does dynamic lecturing look like?

  • It does not look like you talking all the time.
  • It does not look like you reading from a script.
  • It does not look like repetitive information.
  • It does not look like one way communication.
  • It does not look like passive learning.
  • It looks like interaction between you and your students.
  • It looks like students are involved with you and their classmates.
  • It looks like students are engaged in learning.
  • It looks like you are monitoring the audience's attentiveness.
  • It look like you are interested in what you are talking about.
  • It looks like there is value in what students know.

Why should I incorporate dynamic lecturing in my class?

  • According to Zakrajsek, students have a cognitive load that is similar to a working RAM, which is the amount of information the brain can process at any given moment (Stachowiak, 2017). When you are teaching as an expert to novices, you are disseminating a plethora of information to students. Students reach a moment where they feel full and they cannot do anymore, possibly every 15-25 minutes. These are the moments where using an active learning strategy in the middle of a lecture will help you reduce students’ cognitive load.

How can I enhance my lectures?

  1. Activate students’ prior knowledge
  2. Capture attention and emphasize important points
  3. Encourage students to make content meaningful through examples
  4. Provide reflection opportunities
  5. Create opportunities for retrieval practice

(1) Activate Prior Knowledge

  • Pre-test
  • What do I know? Turn and Talk (interleave)
  • Mini-lesson reading strategies
  • Mini-lesson prior to assigned reading
  • Brain dump

(2) Capture Attention and Emphasize Main Points

  • Use a hook or attention getter
  • Identify big ideas and learning objectives
  • Show passion and use your voice
  • Use prediction and preview strategies

(3) Make-it-Meaningful through Examples

  • Case studies
  • Make-it-meaningful teams (interleave)
  • Think-pair-share with self-explanation
  • Concept maps
  • Invent the quiz

(4) Reflection Opportunities

  • One-minute paper
  • News report
  • Review and compare notes
  • Entry ticket
  • Exit ticket

(5) Retrieval Practice

  • Interleaving quiz
  • Interactive quiz
  • Brief presentation
  • One-minute elaboration
  • One-minute paper





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