Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Page: 3067
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Lecturing is essentially a form of public communication. The ability to lecture well, like speaking well, is an acquired skill. Teachers have multiple opportunities to communicate with the same audience and it would be advisable for everyone to assess our mistakes, think analytically about our actions, and take steps to improve while teaching the same group of students.
As with any teaching method, the choice to lecture should be a strategic one. Lecturing is not the only way to teach, but it can be very effective if it is used with appropriate goals in mind. Teachers can establish some objectives among them are:
1. Exercising/gaining control of the class
2. Highlighting major ideas
3. Setting the stage for forthcoming activities
4. Showing one’s own interest and enthusiasm for the subject
5. Providing a role model of good public communication skills
Communication research clearly reveals that those who are used to speak (in terms of frequency and duration) exert the most control over the rhetorical environment. The classroom is not an exception. The teacher who chooses to lecture is asking students to listen. It is also important to set the agenda, choose the pacing and emphasis, and decide the order in which concepts will be introduced. In addition, it should be set the “rules” for interaction like the interruptions with questions and students concerns during and after the lecture. The lecture, then, serves as a method of control over interaction patterns, organization, and substance.
Students are exposed to a lot of information during the course. Sometimes, they find it difficult to distinguish major themes, ideas, or concepts from those of less importance. Through a lecture, the teacher can emphasize those concepts that are really valuable, help students to put their knowledge in perspective, and through examples and explanations to clarify concepts.
In nearly every class, we ask students to perform many tasks. We may ask them to read an article, prepare a speech, solve a set of problems, observe a surgical procedure, or pass a difficult examination. In some instances, we use these tasks to assess their knowledge and achievement. In other cases, we view the task as an opportunity for students to learn. Whatever our purposes, we want our students to understand the nature and purpose of the assigned task, to have a clear sense of our expectations.
It is probably safe to say that students do not always come to our classes with a high level of intrinsic interest in the subject. If the class is required students may view it as little more than a potential impediment to their career, as something to be endured, or overcome. This attitude stands in sharp contrast to our own. When we lecture, through the way we speak, we have the opportunity to show our students how we feel about the subject. If we speak with enthusiasm and energy, our students may eventually grow to better appreciate, and even enjoy, the subject.
Teachers should be able to communicate effectively, to speak articulately and in an organized manner to show a concern for clarity and conciseness, and to be able to support their views with evidence and sound reasoning. One way students could improve oral communication skills is to take a matter in public speaking. We must establish eye contact with our students. We should offer basic models due to get a good communication and to have a positive impact on the way our students communicate.