The lecture method is a traditional mainstay. In a well designed online class lectures are supplimentary. An online teacher understands that learning comes from student discussion and other demonstrations of understanding like collaborative projects, writing, and a moderate use of automated testing.
This is an old article. It reflects the reality that we've known lectures to be ineffective for a very long time. ~ Dennis
A number of reasons commonly given for lecturing and claims commonly made for the efficiency of lecturers are examined for their basis in empirical evidence and common sense. Most of these claims are found to be somewhat weak. It appears that lecturing takes place rather more often than can be reasonably justified. The real reasons for the popularity of lecturing amongst lecturers are then examined. Of the twenty reasons for lecturing examined here, the first nine have little substance and the last eleven are avoidable.
"Bligh (1972) could not track down a single study which found lecturing to be more effective than another method for the promotion of thought. He identified 21 studies which found lecturing to be less effective than: discussion, reading, individual work in class and so on. The evidence on the weakness of lectures to achieve this goal is devastating. Bloom (1953) found that during lectures students' thought involved attempting to solve problems, or synthesise or inter-relate information for only 1% of the time, while 78% of the lecture was spent in"passive thoughts about the subject" and "irrelevant thoughts"."
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