It is useful if the lecture is structured with a clear beginning, middle and end.
- Beginning - The introduction
- State the purpose of the lecture in context to what students are learning
State the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) from the lecture (there should not be more than 4 or 5 of these at the most)
This should help signpost where the lecture will lead.
- Revise earlier material if necessary
A quick recap of what has previously been covered can help students to build on what they know.
- Tell students what is in it for them - why the lecture is important
Let students know why the information in the lecture is important, how it fits into the scheme of what they are learning and how they may be assessed on it (exam question; assignment question, etc.)
- Aim to grab the students' attention whilst you are delivering the introduction
Grabbing students' attention is a way of engaging them, some methods you may wish to try are:
- open with a controversial statement then put it in the context of topic and what you intend covering in the lecture
- tell a relevant, anecdotal story highlighting the ISSes at hand
- do something unusual, dress up, show a short youtube clip on the topic, show a relevant cartoon or give a demonstration
- Middle - Main Body
- The main body is the major part of your talk where explanation and reinforcement of ideas occur.
- A good way to structure the lecture is to:
- state each main point - explaining why it is important and how it fits into the larger body of knowledge
- develop and explain the ideas behind it
- give examples
- provide a restatement of the point
- ask students a question and allow them to discuss it in small groups or in pairs
- Repeat this for all the points that you wish to cover, remembering to allow adequate pauses in your talk so that the students can take in what you have said. You may wish to illustrate some of the points with graphical representations or demonstrations rather than having a discussion around all of the points you make. Breaking the lecture up will also assist the different types of learners present in your class.
- Consider incorporating:
- Mental involvement
giving them a challenge or a problem to think about
- Visual involvement
power point slides, writing on the white board, models, demonstrations
- Verbal involvement
asking for questions or comments on specific issues
- Physical involvement
incorporate activities, small group or paired discussions.
- End - Conclusion
- After covering your 4 - 5 ILOs, let students know the lecture is reaching an end. Use terms like "In summary" or "To conclude" so that any students who have mentally wandered can re focus and confirm to the attentive students that they were with you all the way. This also confirms the important "take home messages".
- concisely summarise each main point in single phrase form
- summarise your conclusion
- summarise the purpose of your lecture (putting it into perspective)
- ensure you have an obvious finish