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What does research tell us about the effectiveness of lectures?

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 26 January 2015



What does research tell us about the effectiveness of lectures?
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 175
Posted DateMonday 26 January 2015 16:50 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf500/id/lectures-le ... 
http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/27/why-lectures-are-dead-or- ... 

Most people who know me are aware of my views about the lecture - certainly, if you have attended one of my knowledge Cafes or workshops you will be. It was death-by-powerpoint lectures that provoked me to start to run my Knowledge Cafes back in 2002.

This document Conversational Talks and Conferences sums up some of my thinking. And Donald Clark in his talk Dont lecture me is highly critical of the lecture style of teaching also.

But this article by Dr Tony Bates: Why lectures are dead (or soon will be) is a comprehensive review of the lecture, its history and its future. It is well worth the read and looks at both the strengths and the weakness of the lecture especially in the light of modern day technology and the ability to flip teach

This is what Tony says the research shows about the lecture.
  1. The lecture is as effective as other methods for transmitting information (the corollary of course is that other methods – such as video, reading, independent study - are just as effective as lecturing for transmitting information)
  2. Most lectures are not as effective as discussion for promoting thought
  3. Lectures are generally ineffective for changing attitudes or values or for inspiring interest in a subject
  4. Lectures are relatively ineffective for teaching behavioural skills.

Oh and make sure you read the comments - they are not totally supportive and add some additional insight into what Tony has to say.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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