Making Lectures Come Alive

1. Introduction

Making Lectures Come Alive

Video Introduction

The old way of teaching students through lecture, where student just sit and listen--is a very efficient way of delivering information.  What we want to do is combine the efficiency of learning through lecture with some techniques to promote maximum learning. We want lectures to become hands-on, interactive and learner-centered.  In this sense, here is what we mean:

  • Hands-on: Listeners are doing something
  • Interactive:  Listeners are talking to each other
  • Learner centered:  Focus is off of you and on the listeners

When preparing lectures, it is important to provide time before a lecture, during a lecture, and after a lecture to solidify a student’s learning.  This book provides some activities that will help change listeners into learners.

One of the first rules of lecture is to limit the presentation into chunks of ten to twenty minutes.  This is about all the brain can handle at a time. After each chunk of information, the brain needs time to process what it has learned.  The processing takes between 30 seconds to 4-5 minutes. As you are preparing your lectures, it is important to provide time to include these activities that are essential in helping your students retain the information.


Preventing Death by Lecture,  Sharon Bowman, 2008

Powerful Presentations, Deb Estes, 2017

Using Brain Science to Make Training Stick, Sharon Bowman, 2015