Integrating Active Learning into Lectures

Lecture has become a fraught topic in teaching recently, with some higher education professionals and research suggesting that active learning is a better approach than lecturing. However, lecture can work well in certain cases, especially when a mix of teaching practices are utilized in the classroom, David Gooblar, a lecturer in the rhetoric department at the University of Iowa, writes in a recent story in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the article, Gooblar cites a number of teaching strategies that can be used in lecture to make sure that students retain material. Examples include designing classroom activities that facilitate active listening, deciding whether or not simply telling material is appropriate, implementing naïve tasks to reveal gaps in student knowledge, and testing to gauge student comprehension.

“The most effective teaching involves looking to communicate information in inefficient ways–that is, in ways that make students work to understand the information, and not just listen passively,” Gooblar writes about lectures in the Chronicle article.