How can I make Lectures in the Classroom more Interesting and Interactive for the Students?

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How can I make Lectures in the Classroom more Interesting and Interactive for the StudentsLectures are frequently used in the classroom as the preferred method to communicate information, explore and expand on ideas or just clarify a query. However, the traditional form of lectures in the classroom has proved to be less effective as students are not actively involved in the process of learning. Studies have reported that student participation is extremely important to enhance learning.

When students are actively engaged in the material, they tend to understand, learn and retain more. Let us see how we can make lectures more interesting and interactive for our students.

Opening statement of the lecture

The opening statement decides how the rest of the lecture will proceed. Therefore, it is important that you give it some thought and use your creativity in order to start the class with a bang.

One way is to start with a question that challenges the students to chip in with the answers, i.e. “how does a plant grow?” or “what is the reason for the increase in population?” Such interactive questions will also help teachers analyze the students’ existing knowledge and understanding on the particular topic and use it to structure the lecture.

Another strategy is the Trailer method. Don’t the trailers that we see influence us to watch a particular movie? In the same way, presenting an interesting trailer on the topic may get students involved in it. Using visuals or graphical representation of the topic and its contents will help catch the attention and interest of the students.

You may also try the Index/Content method in which you present the topic as a title and instruct the students to write down questions on the topic or list in the form of an index or content list what they hope to learn. As the lecture proceeds, students can strike out from their list topics that have been covered and ask the teacher to explain anything that may have been missed out.

The in between

During the lecture, ensure that there are multiple opportunities for students to express their views. Encourage them to question the material, clarify doubts and ask for further elaboration on areas that may still be unclear to them.

A conversational lecture is a good place to begin. In this type of lecture, one proceeds in a question-answer format. Explain to the students that there are no wrong answers and encourage them to participate. This type of lecturing helps broaden the students’ perspective as they are encouraged to explore multiple solutions and ideas to a particular problem.

Implementing a quick practical round in between lectures helps create an active atmosphere for learning and reinforcing the material and for practical demonstration.

While referring to graphical or pictorial representation, let the students interpret the material prior to you explaining it. Along with expressing their views, this gives them an opportunity to build on their reasoning with questions like “why did you think this?” or “how can it be different?”

You may also incorporate changes in the format of lecturing by conducting discussions, debates, case presentations, etc. which are useful tools to liven up the class and motivate the students.

Closing statement of the lecture

Writing down the main points, using exit slips, conducting a quick pop quiz or a discussion on what has been taught are closure activities that facilitates identifying and retaining key points of what has been taught.

Changes to our approach

Along with changing the form of the lectures, incorporating changes in a teacher’s verbal and non-verbal skills may also facilitate student participation. For example, students express more freely when they know that they are not being judged or criticized. Therefore, create a positive atmosphere that encourages your class to open up.

Modulation of our body language and eye contact is another way of putting our students at ease. A relaxed posture, maintaining eye contact with the students, addressing them by name and including humor in the classroom contributes to a positive environment and invites student participation.

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Discuss here: What are some ways you were able to make lectures in the classroom more interesting and interactive for your students?


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