M.O. Lai

Taylor's University (MALAYSIA)
It can be quite a challenge to keep the attention of the undergraduates of the 21st century. Things move at such a fast pace. Their attention span seems to be getting lower. Lecturing a theoretical subject like law can get rather dry and boring – but it does not have to be so. There are so many ways to make the lecture interesting and even unforgettable. It is such a waste if the wealth of information that is found in a lecture is not passed onto the hearers solely because the latter is simply not paying attention.

This paper will submit on methods on how to capture their attention of the students during lectures.

First, this paper will seeks to show how visual presentations can be incorporated into the lectures and how it can be used to help the students follow the lesson, raise their interest and remember key points.

Among other methods, the use of a powerpoint presentation has increased in a lot of Universities. However, this paper will seek to point out how best to use such presentations and what are the pitfalls to avoid.

The author will share from his own personal experience on how he has used visual aids as a tool during his lectures. This would include showing video clips, using object lessons, role-play and using drama/short skits.

This paper will also report on the online anonymous course evaluations done by the students of Taylor’s Law School, Taylor's University and their comments regarding the use of visual aids as mentioned earlier.

It is important to note that the tools should be treated as the means to an end and not be the end itself. There can be a danger that too much emphasis is put to making the lecture interesting that we end up only entertaining the students and not educating them. This paper will emphasise the need to be focused on the goal and to achieve it using the necessary aids.

This paper will also discuss how student involvement can be used during lectures to enhance the learning experience. One of the ways how the attention of the students can be captured is by involving them through simple methods like questions, group discussion, debates and presentations.

This paper will deal with the lecturer himself/herself. How one presents the lecture makes a difference in the hearers’ response to it. Mannerisms and basic public speaking skills can sometimes be taken for granted and there is the danger that eg simple vocal techniques are not practiced. How the lecture is delivered is important also.

Finally, what can the lecturer do with the students who just cannot seem to pay attention? This paper seeks to suggest some methods on how to deal with such students.