10 Tips to Make Your Lectures More Engaging For Your Students
It can be tough for students to stay attentive during long and demanding lectures, so here are 10 tips to keep students engaged when you're teaching:
1. Ask questions and seek your student's opinions
One of the best ways to engage with your students is to solicit their opinions and comments about the learning material. When students are forced to consider their own views on the material, they'll be able to understand it better and also find it easier to remember. Sometimes, students can be shy about contributing to class discussions, so try to create an atmosphere where questioning is encouraged and students feel comfortable offering an opinion, even if they're unsure.
2. Assess the level of knowledge in the room and tailor your teaching accordingly
Your class will quickly get bored if your lecture material is either too basic or too advanced for them to follow. Mitigate this by asking about levels of knowledge when you first meet a class, and adjusting the complexity of your teaching accordingly.
3. Get students to present work themselves
It's said that one of the best ways to understand something is to teach it, and you can use this to help your students learn. Ask each student to prepare a short presentation on one teaching topic, then get the students to give the introduction to your lectures throughout the semester.
4. Use multimedia like video or audio clips
Dropping a short video or audio clip into your teaching presentation can help to shake up the heavily text-based format of most lectures, and will help those students who are more visual or auditory-based learners.
5. Encourage group discussion
It's important for your students to take an active role in their learning – and having them passively listen while you talk is not the best way to achieve this. Consider breaking up your lectures by having a segment in which the class splits into small groups of 3-6 and discusses the topic amongst themselves.
6. Change up the format of your lectures
It's difficult for any of us to concentrate on one topic for an hour or more, so try to present your lectures in bite-size chunks. For example, if you have an hour to teach, you might give an introduction to the topic for 15 minutes, then give students 10 minutes to re-read the material, then a 20 minute discussion in small groups, then a 15 minute class discussion at the end. Changing format frequently will help to keep students engaged.
7. Set up a debate
In any field, there will be theories, models, or concepts which are contentious. Try splitting your class in half and asking them to present each side of an issue in a debate. Even if students don't agree with the side that they've been asked to present, this is a great way for them to practice argumentation and critical thinking skills as well as learning the material at hand.
8. Allow breaks or changes of setting in longer lectures
It's a rare student who is capable of concentrating for the full length of a three hour lecture. Be realistic about the needs of your students (and of yourself as a teacher!) and allow short 5-10 minute breaks every hour or so, so people can stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and get a cup of coffee.
9. Provide notes or worksheets so students don't have to write everything down
Some lecturers are pleased to see students constantly writing notes during class, as it shows that the students are working hard. However, it can be argued that when students are merely copying down everything they are hearing, they're not really engaging critically with the material. Consider providing pre-written notes or copies of your slides to the students at the start of the lecture, so they are more free to question, comment, and think about the material you're teaching.
10. Make use of technology
There are now plenty of terrific technological tools to help make your teaching more engaging. Your institution may have an electronic content management system like Moodle or Blackboard where you can share materials and set up discussions for your class. You can also try streaming tools like Ustream to enable distance learning, or even use an app like Socrative to create instant polls for use during class.
These articles may also be interesting for you:
- Multichannel Promotion
Why you should be using a multi-channel marketing approach
Multi-channel marketing campaigns allow institutions to increase conversion rates by interacting with potential candidates (students, professors and researchers) at different stages of their decision process, using the best channel for that stage. For example, a candidate who has already visited your institution website is more likely to respond positively to a direct email campaign, while a young candidate who has not yet heard of your university/centre/company is more responsive to meeting representatives at a recruitment fair.
- Career Advice
Sample Motivation Letter For Your Economics PhD Application
When you apply for a PhD, you will need to write not just a research proposal but also a letter of motivation. This letter describes why you wish to undertake a PhD and why you would be well-suited to researching your proposed topic. But what needs to go in this letter, and what tone is appropriate for it? To give you some ideas, today INOMICS is sharing a sample letter of motivation, as well as offering advice on how to write our own, so you can maximise your chances of getting accepted.
The Top Macroeconomics Books
If you’re currently in the throes of an undergrad degree in economics, or even if you’re just a layman looking to brush up on your macroeconomic knowledge, it’s essential you have the right literature to help you keep up to date. There are plenty of textbooks out there which purport to be the best way to get to grips with the discipline, but some are, naturally, better than others. On top of that, there are plenty of more popular economics books which deal with a specific topic in more detail.