Lecture Practices:

Effective Ways to Present New Information Orally to Fit Differences in Learning Styles

At times information must be transmitted orally to a passive listening audience. But research has shown that after 10 to 20 minutes of continuous lecture, assimilation falls off rapidly. If the teacher must rely on the oral presentation of material, these techniques have been identified as enhancing learner retention. Think about using one or more of these strategies in your lectures.

  • Lecture / Rhetorical Questioning
    • Talk in 7 to 10 minute segments, pause, ask pre-planned rhetorical questions; learners record their answers in their notes.
  • Surveys with Exemplifier
    • Pause, ask directly for a show of hands: ‘Raise your hand if you agree... disagree... etc.’ or ‘Raise your hand if you have encountered an example of that.’ Ask for a volunteer to speak for the response group whose hands are raised.
  • Turn To Your Partner And ...
    • Pause, ask each to turn to the person next to them and share examples of the point just made or complete a given phrase or sentence.
  • Halting Time
    • Present complex material or directions and then stop so learners have time to think or carry out directions. Visually check to see whether the class appears to understand. If they do, continue.
  • Explication de Texte
    • By reading and analyzing passages from the text aloud, learners can see higher-order thinking skills and that ‘criticism’ is a participatory intellectual exercise.
  • Guided LectureLecture Practices
    • Students listen to 15-20 minutes of lecture without taking notes. At the end, they spend five minutes recording all they can recall. The next step involves learners in small discussion groups reconstructing the lecture conceptually with supporting data, preparing complete lecture notes, using the instructor to resolve questions that arise.
  • Immediate Mastery Quiz
    • When a regular immediate mastery test is included in the last few minutes of the period, learners retain almost twice as much material, both factual and conceptual.
  • Story Telling
    • Stories, metaphor, and myth catch people deeply within, so no longer are listeners functioning as tape recorders subject to the above information overload limits. What human beings have in common is revealed in myth; stories allow the listener to seek an experience of being alive in them and find clues to answers within themselves. The 10 to 20 minute limit no longer applies.