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November 19-20, 2007. Interactive lecturing By Malek Tabbal, Associate Professor & Chairman Department of Physics, AUB Beirut, Lebanon E-mail: Workshop. Main Learning Outcomes.

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November 19-20, 2007

Interactive lecturing By Malek Tabbal,Associate Professor & Chairman Department of Physics, AUBBeirut, LebanonE-mail:



Main Learning Outcomes

Day one: after reflecting on how an effective lecture can be planned, we will present a draft plan of an effective lecture session.

Day two: after sharing my experience on interactive lecturing in large classes at AUB, we will apply a simple yet effective way to turn your classroom into a lively but well structured interactive session.

outline day 1 effective lecturing
OUTLINE, Day 1: Effective lecturing
  • Session 1*: (2 hours)
    • Introduction: Outline, presentation
    • Discussion questions on the lecturing process.
    • Guidelines to have in mind when preparing a lecture


  • Session 2*: (2 hours)
    • Plan and draft a lecture.
    • Examples of effective lecturing: Discussion & assessment.
    • Wrap-up of Day 1 and additional talking points.

* These sessions were originally designed and developed by Dr. Amal Bou Zeineddine of AUB

warm up discussion questions
Warm up Discussion Questions
  • Pre Lecture
  • 1. Why do I use the lecture method in my course?
  • 2. How do I prepare for my lecture? What specific decisions do I take into consideration when planning a lecture?
  • 3. Do I rehearse my lecture before I go in?
warm up discussion questions5
Warm up Discussion Questions

During Lecture

4. Do I read my lecture or “tell” it to students?

5. How would I describe students’ behavior/attitude in my lecture?

6. How do I know that my students are with me during my lecture?

Post Lecture

7. What do I do to make sure that students attained the set objectives for my lecture?


Guidelines to Have in Mind When Preparing a Lecture

(Adapted from: Teaching Methods (2000), Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Chicago)

  • Who are my students? What can I assume with absolute certainty what they know?
  • What are the major points that I want to get across in this lecture? If my students walk out of the lecture knowing only one new idea, skill, or concept, what would it be?
  • What concrete examples can I use to emphasize these points? Can I think of any examples that draw on my students' own experiences?

Guidelines to Have in Mind When Preparing a Lecture

4. What kinds of connections will my students have to make to previously covered material? Should I plan to provide these connections?

 5. In what ways will my presentation be different as a lecture from what it would have been as an essay on the topic?


I. Lecture Introduction

1. I start my lecture by announcing the specific learning outcomes.


2. I start the lecture by posing a question or problem to be solved during the lecture.


3. I tell students how I expect them to use the lecture material in lab sessions, classes, assessment etc.


4. I begin my lecture with a quick summary of key points of previous lecture.


5. Other suggestions:


Planning a Lecture


II. Lecture Body

6. I make my lecture conversational (ask questions, ask for oral/ written responses, pause for 2/3 minutes for student questions/summary etc.


7. I relate my lecture to real life situations.


8. I include more than 4 concepts in a 50-minute lecture.


9. I repeat key ideas and connect them to the following concept.


10. Other suggestions:


Planning a Lecture


III. Lecture Conclusion

11. I plan time for student questions/clarifications.


12. I summarize at the end of my lecture.


13. Other Suggestions:


Planning a Lecture


IV. Lecture Delivery

14. I cue important ideas by varying speech rate, volume, pitch.


15. I speak to the students and maintain eye contact ( i.e. not speak to the board, walls, notes or floor).


16. I let my sense of humor/enthusiasm show.


17. Other Suggestions:


Planning a Lecture


V. Reflections

22. I record and/or videotape myself lecturing.


18. I make notes to myself after my lecture (what went well, what didn’t).


23. Other Suggestions.


19. I use my students’ feedback to modify/improve my lecture.


20. I solicit feedback from my peers.


21. I know my students’ ability in note- taking skills.


Planning a Lecture

end summary of day 1
End & Summary of Day 1
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the lecture method were assessed.
  • We have presented the guidelines to have in mind when preparing an efficient lecture.
  • A plan of an efficient lecture was designed and drafted.
outline day 2 interactive lecturing
OUTLINE, Day 2: Interactive lecturing
  • Session 1: (2 hours)
    • Feed-back from participants on Day 1.
    • Introduction
    • Issues to consider when teaching “large classes”.
    • Implementing interactive teaching.


  • Session 2: (2 hours)
    • Plan and draft an interactive lecture: “Converting” your lecture into an interactive one.
    • Examples of interactive lecturing: Discussion and assessment.
    • Wrap-up of Day Two and additional talking points
    • Conclusion of workshop: discuss implementation & follow-up

In this session, we shall present a simple and effective way to turn your classroom into alively but well structured interactivesession by - enhancing teacher-student communication- encouraging student-student interaction

Goal of the session

why do we lecture
Why do we lecture?
  • We teach the way we were taught!
  • Thought to be the most effective way of delivering a large amount of information in a short period of time.
  • Nice and clear overview of the material.
  • Is it a HABIT?


From Mazur, Physics Today (1996)


Teaching Large Classes: An Uphill Battle?

Anything you can do in a large class,

you can do better in a small one!

(P. Wankat)

Everybody is against it but we have to do it!!


Teaching Large Classes: An Uphill Battle?

  • 1. How do we define a large class? Why do we usually use the lecture method in large classes?

2. How do you think students feel in a large class? What about you?


Teaching Large Classes: An Uphill Battle? (II)

  • 3. Do you believe that class size influences:
    • Your teaching effectiveness?
    • The organization and delivery of the material?
    • Your student assessment plan?
    • Management of your class?

Teaching Large Classes: An Uphill Battle? (III)

  • 4. In your opinion, how long is the attention span of students in a large class?
  • 5. How would you describe an interactive lecture given to a large class? Have you ever used interactive lecturing in large classes? Is applying an interactive method of learning in a large class is the last thing you would want to do?

Peer Instruction*: an example of interactive lecturing

* Adapted from “Peer Instruction: a user’s manual”, E. Mazur, Prentice Hall (1997).


Lecturing: presentation of a concept


50 minutes

Ask a multiple-choice conceptual

question (ConcepTest)



Students discuss possible answers with each other





Solicit answers from student

and summarize






This represents

the ideal lecture





Example of a conceptest

A train car moves along a long straight track. The graph shows the position as a function of time for this train. The graph shows that the train:

1. speeds up all the time.

2. slows down all the time.

3. speeds up part of the time and slows

down part of the time.

4. moves at a constant velocity



student response
Student response
  • Show of hands.
  • Flashcards.
  • Clickers


Variations along the same theme: the ConcepTest

  • Question posed: 1 minute
  • Student thinks, each on his/her own and answers: 1 min.
  • Student discusses answer with neighbor: 2 min.
  • Student shows revised answer.
  • Explanation of correct answer: 1 min.

Two levels of interaction

  • Teacher-student:
    • active solicitation of student participation.
    • teacher enthusiasm is a must and is contagious!!
  • Student-student:
    • Students can explain to each other more efficiently than teachers
    • Explaining to others leads to clarification and better understanding of concepts.

Some Advantages

  • Student actively involved in the learning process.
  • Particularly suitable for large classes where other active-learning approaches are difficult to use.
  • Easy to implement.
  • Acquire the habit of reading the material before coming to class (Check using graded pop-quizzes).

More Advantages

  • Immediate feed-back to teacher on student understanding.
  • Improved attendance.
  • Emphasis on concept based understanding that helps problem-solving and discourages rote learning

And More…

  • Short questions can be given to start or to wrap up a lecture.
  • Vary the methods: use class demonstration and multi-media (short movies).
  • Call on some students (sitting in the back!) to answer.


  • Less lecturing time means less material covered!
  • Student should read before coming to class? You must be joking!
  • Level of multiple-choice conceptual questions?
  • Availability of a suitable textbook?
  • Uncooperative students...
planning an interactive lecture
Planning an interactive lecture
  • How do I make my lecture interactive?
    • Can learning be achieved by questioning?
    • How can I make my lecture “conversational”?
planning an interactive lecture34
Planning an interactive lecture
  • How many short questions can I ask during my lecture?
  • Design 3 or 4 multiple choice questions that you can introduce in your lecture.
    • i.
    • ii.
    • iii.
    • iv.
summary of day 2
Summary of Day 2
  • We have presented a simple and effective way to turn your classroom into alively but well structured interactive session.
  • The major advantages of this technique are the following:- it triggersstudent involvementin the teaching-learning process.

- it emphasizes onconceptual understandingas opposed to rote-memorization.

- easy to implement!


Thank you!

And good luck in your lecturing...

Acknowledgements: Dr. Amal Bou Zeineddine.