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Effective Teaching. Jay D. Hunt, Ph.D. CSRB 4D1 568-4734. Overview of Lecture. Preparation Delivery Examinations Course Evaluation. Preparation. Know your audience’s level of knowledge Undergraduate Need to know facts and principles Foundation for future learning Graduate

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effective teaching

Effective Teaching

Jay D. Hunt, Ph.D.



overview of lecture
Overview of Lecture
  • Preparation
  • Delivery
  • Examinations
  • Course Evaluation
  • Know your audience’s level of knowledge
    • Undergraduate
      • Need to know facts and principles
      • Foundation for future learning
    • Graduate
      • Need experimental design and interpretation
      • How to gain knowledge
    • Professional
      • Need previous facts in context
      • Much more goal-oriented
  • Organize your thoughts before you work on your lecture.
    • Create an outline of what you want your students to know.
    • Generate learning objectives:
      • Good: “Be able to recognize and draw the structure of each of the nucleotides.”
      • Poor: “Know the nucleotides.”
  • Generate supplemental handouts when appropriate.
    • Particularly important for professional students
    • Do not replicate information in the textbook.
    • Examples of useful handouts:
      • Lecture outline
      • Learning objectives
      • Sample test questions
      • A review of your lectures
      • For graduate students: articles
  • Two types of learners
    • Visual
      • Need to see slides, black board, overhead transparencies
      • Learns from reading the text and handouts
    • Aural
      • Need to hear you speak the lecture
      • Will ask more questions than the visual learner
      • May not even own the textbook
      • Tend to join study groups more than visual learners
  • From the outset of the lecture, let the students know:
    • What you are going to teach them (outline)
    • What they are expected to know
      • Only the topics covered in the lecture, or
      • The topics covered in the lecture plus the textbook
    • That you encourage questions and interruptions
    • How to reach you if they have questions
  • Questions from the students
    • If one student has a question, others in the class probably have the same question.
    • One can judge the class’ comprehension of the material from the questions received.
    • Questions sometimes point out weaknesses in one’s delivery.
    • Use questions to extend the lecture’s content.
  • The same principles for giving a good seminar apply to giving a good lecture.
    • Pace your delivery to the class
    • Project your voice and do not talk to the board or screen
    • Do not read to the class except in rare instances where appropriate
    • When appropriate, involve the class
  • When leaving a topic and moving to the next topic, always:
    • Briefly review the take home message
    • Tell the students what they are responsible for
    • Place the topic in context with the next topic (this may include, “What we will discuss next has nothing to do with what we just discussed.”)
  • Prepare test questions immediately after giving a lecture (so that the information that you discussed is still clear in your mind)
  • Prepare the test questions before you give the lecture (so that you will cover the material covered in the questions).
  • The types of questions will depend on the class size and the type of student
  • Multiple choice test knowledge of facts and principles
  • Essay questions test facts, principles, and application of same

The best type of multiple choice question is the type in which the

student must complete the sentence.

  • The best college football team on the planet is the:
    • Boston Celtics
    • Chicago Cubs
    • Dallas Cowboys
    • Pittsburgh Penguins
    • Tennessee Volunteers

Alphabetizing the answers

ensures there is no bias toward

using certain letters.


Avoid using negatives and confusing syntax in the question.

  • Each of these teams is not a college football team except:
    • Boston Celtics
    • Chicago Cubs
    • Dallas Cowboys
    • Pittsburgh Penguins
    • Tennessee Volunteers

A better way to phrase the same question

  • Which of the following is a college football team?
    • Boston Celtics
    • Chicago Cubs
    • Dallas Cowboys
    • Pittsburgh Penguins
    • Tennessee Volunteers

Avoid “All of the above” and “None of the above.”

  • All of these are college football teams except:
    • Boston Celtics
    • Michigan Wolverines
    • Ohio State Buckeyes
    • Tennessee Volunteers
    • None of the above
  • Design essay style questions to test more than just facts. Essay questions with no one correct answer are fine:
    • Which college football team is the best in the world? Describe the process by which it became the best. Contrast the team’s strengths with last year’s weaknesses.
course evaluation
Course Evaluation
  • Always evaluate your course!
    • Ensure anonymity by using standardized, non-identifying questionnaires.
    • Encourage comments.
    • Do not collect questionnaires yourself. Have them mailed to a collection center (preferred) or have them placed in an envelope at the end of the final examination.
    • Use the data to constructively modify your course!
    • Do not take negative comments personally.