The goal of lecturing in class is to make it “helpful, enlivening and critically stimulating as possible” for students (Brookfield, 2015, p. 70). The chapter on Creative Lecturing by Stephen Brookfield was a very reassuring chapter for me to read because there is so much pressure to have an active learning classroom. I teach accounting and lecturing is used to impart information to the students. This information includes the accounting framework and principles as well as the steps for solving a problem correctly and accurately. I agree it is important for learners to be involved in their learning through doing activities. The activities helps them understand the theory and apply it to solving the problems.
In class I try to keep my lecturing to 12 to 15 minute blocks per topic. Afterward give students time to do answer problems or other activities where students use the information from the lecture. (Brookfield, 2015) An experienced instructor I taught with gives a 30 minute lecture on the topic and does an example. The rest of class, usually 60 minutes, is spent doing problems individually or in groups. If there is a common question she will work through the problem with the class (LaRusic, 2018).
The lecture needs to be well organized and planned out so students can follow. The main points of the lecture should build on each other, scaffolding. This can be done with handouts that have the outline of the lecture on them and students fill in important information. Brookfield suggest using verbal signals to highlight important information or it is a new point (Brookfield, 2015, p. 78) Following a plan helps to guide students through a difficult concept and try and keep them from getting lost or frustrated.
Using lecturing and active learning together can have a positive impact to help students understand difficult concepts. Understanding what your class needs is the starting point to decide which strategy will work best.
For more information about using lecturing and active learning together check out this article at facultyfocus.com about lecturing vs. active learning: reframing the argument.
Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust and Responsiveness in the Classroom. In S. Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust and Responsiveness in the Classroom (pp. 69-82). San Fransisco: Josey-Bass.
LaRusic, H. (2018, September). Instructor. (C. Lister, Interviewer)