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VStream: Best practices for delivering face-to-face lectures

Introducing interactivity into your lecture – through creating opportunities for questioning, discussion and problem-solving, will encourage students to regularly attend your lectures as well as review recordings of your lecture. If your lecture format does not offer opportunities for students to engage with the material (or one another) in any way then some students may feel that a recording of your lecture is all that is necessary for them to re-create what occurred in the live lecture. Students who attend lectures believe that they are getting a better experience than can be delivered on-line.

Key points

  • Lecturing has been a dominant approach to teaching students at university since the 12th century;
  • The common lecture experience for students is typically one where they don’t need to engage, beyond turning up;
  • Some lectures encourage surface learning only, where students unreflectively collect information with the intention only of meeting assessment requirements;
  • The importance of attending the live lectures in promoting deep learning needs to be communicated to students. They should be advised that reviewing recorded lectures, without attending, offers only a second-best learning option;
  • Students expect university education to include lectures and feel comfortable with the anonymity and passivity experienced when attending regular lectures. This can be an incentive not to attend, especially when there is a recording available;
  • The majority of students will attend lectures only if they perceive ‘value’ in them.

The 'Value' in Lectures

  • Keep emphasising the importance of lectures and the need for students to attend. If lectures contain a structure that includes regular interactivity, students will want to attend in order to take part in problem-solving, discussions, asking questions, discussing ideas with peers etc.
  • Make the lecture experience distinctive, engaging and interactive. Interactive lectures have the potential to be significant learning events for students, where deeper learning is promoted through active participation in the lecture. If the student experience in lectures is one of active engagement, then they are more likely to attend, rather than opt for the experience of listening to recordings;
  • Make lectures interesting, introducing current examples or topical elements that can be used to generate discussion;
  • Include questioning, problem-solving activities, short tasks or activities to break up the ‘delivery’ of content;


  • Create an outline of the content to be covered - outline the intention of the current lecture also at the end of the previous lecture;
  • Regularly sum up the lecture material covered so far in the current lecture;
  • Outline near the end of the lecture what students should do next in order to consolidate learning from the current lecture. This also feeds into their engagement with Blackboard and with any recorded lecture material;
  • Stop to ask questions or ask students to apply what they are learning in the current lecture;
  • Sum up what students ought to have learned at the end of the lecture;


  • Include ‘signposts’ in the lecture such as ‘now for five minutes of theory’ or ‘have a go at this problem’ or ‘now for your questions’ so that students can sense a conscious structure and so that they can review these chunks afterwards, in the recording;
  • Use these ‘signposts’ also so that students can sense where to cue to, when to pause and where to locate points of the recorded lecture that they would like to review;
  • Try to anticipate student review of the recorded lecture by including ‘signposts’ or other cues and PowerPoint slide numbers (e.g. ‘make sure you can apply the content on slide 12 to an example of your own...’) for students to locate and review after the live lecture has ended;


  • Near the end of the lecture (note that students start to pack up their gear five minutes before the lecture ends) leave time to ask students to let you know what was the ‘muddiest point’ or least understood aspect of the lecture, in their view. This feedback can be invaluable to the lecturer and students become used to being asked for comment. To allow this to happen, plan to include the questioning and feedback elicitation during the final minutes of the lecture, not when students are packing to leave;
  • Provide a lecture handout that includes one or more problem scenarios for student consideration and discussion in the lecture. Ideally problem scenarios will be based on applying knowledge and understanding to a new situation;
  • Incorporating questioning into lectures allows the lecturer to check for student understanding and adjust content of lecture accordingly. Students thus feel that to some extent they are responsible for their own learning in the lecture as their questions will directly influence the direction of the lecture in some way;
  • Since the lecture is often the main point of contact between staff and students for formal communication about any issues and problems encountered, harness a portion of the lecture time for valuable staff-student interaction and use an on-line discussion forum in Blackboard to extend student opportunities to give feedback or ask questions;
  • If the lectures are also being recorded, make conscious reference to the recording during lectures or when responding to students’ questions so that students will be more likely to access the recordings. Make reference to the lecture recordings also, in order to guide students to modify their note-taking habits in the light of having both the live lecture and a recording of it as opportunities to expand note-taking;
  • Link the lecture to follow-up activities or assignments in Blackboard. This requires students to reflect on the lecture material or use it in some way. For example, set up problem-solving tasks, quizzes, or discussion forums to extend student opportunities to respond to ideas presented in the lecture. Follow each lecture with activities where students can immediately apply what has been taught, in order to improve their understanding and retention. This might be problem or scenario or issue tied to a discussion forum in Blackboard. This helps students to reflect on what they have learned in the lecture;
  • Encourage students to review the lecture and learn from it (by applying concepts or issues or formulas to a new scenario etc.) before the next lecture is presented. This allows students to spend more time than would be available in a normal in-class session. A Blackboard activity may be suitable for this;

Also consider....

  • Rather than focussing on the lecture content, it may be more appropriate to consider the learning outcomes of students for each particular lecture and how best to provide stimulating and engaging learning environments and experiences for students who attend
  • The student has to do more than turn up. It is about what they do in the lecture that is important. Let them know what your expectations are for how they need to take part in the lecture or contribute ideas etc. Structure the lecture in such a way that students expect to be active and involved, not just allowed to sit passively
  • How much a student learns in a lecture is dependent largely on the lecture's educational design
  • In a ‘flipped’ model, students can view the lecture on-line before they arrive in the lecture space, so they are ready to immediately discuss the topic or begin work on a related individual or small-group activity. The flipped classroom experience makes optimal use of instructor and student time by providing more opportunities for the lecturer to discuss ideas in more depth. Benefits of the ‘flipped’ model include increased class time to present content, more time to discuss complex topics and reduced time spent answering basic or repetitive questions, in view of students already having accessed the recorded lecture material
  • If attendance is necessary at all or some lectures, then let students know from the outset. Even if it is not, there may still be benefits gained from attending that students are not aware of. By informing students of your expectations and the benefits that can be gained from attendance, students will be able to make informed decisions
  • Most students prefer attending lectures over viewing lecture recordings for several reasons including the interactivity, ability to view demonstrations, better concentration and sociability
  • Going to lectures provides structure for students and imposes a disciplined approach to formal learning but they need to feel, at the end of a lecture, how everything has fitted together
  • Teach students to take notes effectively, especially if there is also a recording of the lecture. Students might be advised to take fewer notes in class and concentrate more on what the lecturer says, or the examples and problems presented. Some note taking can then be completed later during the lecture recording review
  • Create opportunities for students to participate after the class lecture by asking questions to be answered later, and then following the lecture with opportunities to use Blackboard to take part in a ‘lecture discussion group’, or complete a Feedback activity. A discussion forum can give students time to compose questions which the lecturer can answer either on-line or in the next lecture
  • Use titles and numbers on PowerPoint slides so you can refer to them and students can easily cue to them in the Rich Media recording of the lecture, if available
  • Upload PowerPoint to Blackboard before the lecture and ask students to make a printout to bring along and add notes to
  • Indicate slide changes and slide numbers (“Now we’re on slide 14...”) when moving through slides so that students can use the cue to add notes under a new slide heading or number. This also aids review of lecture recordings

Acknowledgements and sources

Key

Abdallah, L. M., Danielson, J., Rogers, J. R., & Greenberg, A. (2011). Harrowing Tales of Lecture Capture: Why Blended Learning Scares Instructors. Retrieved from [Webinar]

Chang, S. (2007). Academic Perceptions of the Use of Lectopia: A University of Melbourne Example. Paper presented at the ASCILITE Singapore. from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/chang.pdf

Charles Darwin University Making the Most of Lectures Through Learnline - Staff Guidelines. Retrieved from http://learnline.cdu.edu.au/t4l/downloads/WBLT%20Staff%20Guide.pdf

Gosper, M., Green, D., McNeill, M., Philips, R., Preston, G., & Woo, K. (2008). The Impact of Web-Based Lecture Technologies on Current and Future Practices in Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from http://mq.edu.au/ltc/altc/wblt/docs/report/ce6-22_final2.pdf

Lecture Capture – Educational Issues (2011). Telic: A Blog about Technology Enhanced Learning. Retrieved from http://telic.wordpress.com/lecture-capture/lecture-capture-educational-issues/

Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Centre (2012). Making the Most of Lectures Through Echo 360: Staff Guide. Retrieved from http://www.mq.edu.au/ltc/altc/wblt/docs/A412_013_Echo360_staff_guide.pdf

McKinlay, N. (2007). The Vanishing Student Trick — The Trouble with Recording Lectures. Paper presented at the 6th Teaching Matters Conference Showcasing Innovation.

Martyn, M. A. (2009). Engaging Lecture Capture: Lights, Camera... Interaction! Education Quarterly 32(4). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/Engagin gLectureCaptureLightsCa/192960

Milne, J., & Brown, M. (2011). How Does the Digital Recording of Rich Media Enhance the Student Learning Experience? ,

von Konsky, Ivins, J., & Gribble, S. J. (2009). Lecture Attendance and Web based Lecture Technologies: A Comparison of Student Perceptions and Usage Patterns Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(4). Retrieved from http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet25/vonkonsky.html

Zhu, E., & Bergom, I. (2010). Lecture Capture: A Guide for Effective Use. CRLT Occasional Papers No. 27 University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/CRLT_no27.pdf

Other

Brown, M. (2011). Synthesis of the Literature on Rich Media Learning. Pass the SoLT. Retrieved from http://tur-www1.massey.ac.nz/~wwtdu/cadelblog/blog6.php/2011/11/18/synthesis-of-the-literature-on-rich-medi


Center for Digital Education (2012). The Flipped Classroom: Increasing Instructional Effectiveness in Higher Education with Blended Learning Technology. Retrieved from http://media.convergemag.com/documents/CDE12+BRIEF+Echo_V.pdf

Charles Darwin University Making the Most of Lectures Through Learnline - Staff Guidelines. Retrieved from http://learnline.cdu.edu.au/t4l/downloads/WBLT%20Staff%20Guide.pdf

Christian, D. (2010). Lecture Capture: A Guide to Effective Use. Retrieved from http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=1042

Coventry University (2012). Getting Started with Echo360: Lecture Capture at Coventry University. Retrieved from http://curve.coventry.ac.uk/open/items/1b418f9d-6b86-054e-cc2f- db750dfb6f48/1/echobrochure.pdf

DeAngelis, K. (2009). Lecture Capture: Student Opinion and Implementation Strategies. Teaching Tip Sheet UNC Charlotte Center for Teaching and Learning Retrieved from https://teaching.uncc.edu/sites/teaching.uncc.edu/files/LectureCaptureTipSheet.pdf

Ehlers, K. (2010). Lecture Capturing Utilising Enhanced Podcasts 2010 ISECON Proceedings 27(1387). Retrieved from http://proc.isecon.org/2010/pdf/1387.pdf

Karakostas, A., Demetriadis, S., Ragazou, V., & Amarlariotou, M. (2010). e-Lectures to Support Blended Instruction in Multimedia Programming Course. Retrieved from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1822090.1822144

McClure, A. (2008). Lecture Capture: A Fresh Look. University Business, April. Retrieved from http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/lecture-capture-fresh-look

Massingham, P., & Herrington, T. (2006). Does Attendance Matter? An Examination of Student Attitudes, Participation, Performance and Attendance. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 3(2). Retrieved from http://jutlp.uow.edu.au/2006_v03_i02/pdf/massingham_008.pdf Morris, D. (2010). Project Document Cover Sheet Available from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/institutionalinnovation/eltacfinalreport.pdf

Morris, D. (2010). Project Document Cover Sheet Available from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/institutionalinnovation/eltacfinalreport.pdf

O'Donoghue, M., Hollis, J., & Hoskin, A. (2007). Lecture Recording: Help or Hinder in developing a Stimulating Learning Environment? Paper presented at the ASCILITE 2007 Singapore from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/odonoghue-poster.pdf

Phillips, R., Gosper, M., McNeill, M., & Woo, K. (2007). Staff and Student Perspectives on Web based Lecture Technologies: Insights into the Great Divide. Paper presented at the ASCILITE Singapore. from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.119.6857&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Preston, G., Phillips, R. G., Maree, McNeill, M., Woo, K., & Green, D. (2010). Web-based Lecture Technologies: Highlighting the Changing Nature of Teaching and Learning. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(6), 717-728. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/preston.pdf

Saint Louis University (2012). Lecture Capture Policies & Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.slu.edu/its/services-and-products/academic-resources/tegrity-lecture-capture/lecture- capture-policies-and-guidelines#Tips Smithers, M. (2011). Is Lecture Capture the Worst Educational Technology? Retrieved from http://www.masmithers.com/2011/03/11/is-lecture-capture-the-worst-educational-technology/

University of Exeter Lecture Capture - A Quick Start Guide for Staff. Retrieved from http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/integrate/resources/quickstart-lecturecapture.pdf

University of Sussex (2012). How do I make a Good Recording? Retrieved from http://www.sussex.ac.uk/elearning/audioandvideo/me2u/guides/good


Credit and Acknowledgement