Improving Student Learning From Lectures

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Lecturing is a primary mode of teaching in higher education. A majority of college teachers lecture extensively, and many more lecture at least some of the time in their classes. Good lectures are viewed as well-organized presentations that stimulate student interest and maintain student attention. But, research demonstrates that lecturing is less effective than active modes of instruction. To produce better learning from lecture, educators need to promote deeper cognitive engagement with the subject matter before, during, and after lectures. This teacher-ready research review proposes strategies to help students acquire essential background knowledge before lecture, manage cognitive overload and engage in deep learning processes during lecture, and elaborate, consolidate, and retain what they learn after lecture.

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