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Home Classroom ActivitiesLecturing Effectively

Lecturing Effectively

As Nira Hativa suggests, an effective lecture does more than communicate information: "[i]t arouses interest and motivation; promotes concentration and attention; identifies and marks the most important information; and enables effective cognitive processing, storing, and information retrieval" (76).

Charles W. Eliot, a former president of Harvard, put it differently: "The lecturer pumps laboriously into sieves. The water may be wholesome, but it runs through. A mind must work to grow" (cited in Bok, 123).

The links and resources below offer strategies for making minds work during a lecture.

Strategies and Resources


Making Lectures Interactive

DePaul Faculty Publications on Lectures

Rotenberg, R. (2005). "The lecture classroom." Chapter in The art and craft of college teaching: A guide for new professors and graduate students. Walnut Creek, CA. 

   Additional Readings

Bligh, D.A. (2000). What's the use of lectures? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bok, D. (2006). Our underachieving colleges: A candid look at how much students learn and why they should be learning more. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Hativa, N. (2000). "Lecturing and Explaining." Chapter in Teaching for effective learning in higher education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.