Deep and Interactive Learning in Lectures
Written by Glen O’Grady and Frederick Chew, The Australian National University
While collaborative activities can enhance learning it is important that this is not taken for granted, as it is the quality of the collaborative learning that will determine the quality of student learning (Nokes-Malach et. al. 2015). As introduced in Day 1, the question of what makes a lecture ‘interactive’ is quite a complex one, partly because interactivity can be defined as:
- Activities between the lecturer and the students,
- Activities between students,
- Activities that foster deep learning by getting students to interact with the content.
In order for interactions in lectures to foster deep learning , it is necessary that the activities trigger cognitive learning mechanisms – see Day 1 for more detail.
- List some interactive activities you have used in lectures.
- How would you rate their effectiveness in terms of fostering deep learning?
We would like you to explore some new interactive activities that you could use in your lectures, and invite you to select one of the following activities with this in mind:
- A list of activities published by a range of Universities
- An example of interactive lecture using the Echo360 Active Learning Platform (ALP)
- Interactive lectures by the renowned Professor Eric Mazur
1. Interactive Activities Promoted by Universities
Teaching and Learning Units in various Universities around the world have suggested various interactive activities to use in lectures and large classes such as:
- 10 activities to make lectures more interactive
- Activities for large classes
- Quick group activities for lectures
2. Example of an active lecture using Echo360 Active Learning Platform (ALP)
The Centre for Higher Education Learning & Teaching (CHELT) and the College of Arts & Sciences (CASS) here at the ANU recently hosted a lecture called Deep and Active Learning in Lectures using the Echo360 Active Learning Platform (ALP). Echo360 ALP allows for interactive tasks to be posted as “Activity Slides” in the presentation. For a more detailed list of interactive activities using Echo360 ALP go here.
Watch the lecture here if you are a staff member or student at the ANU, otherwise just click on the video link below.
Find at least one activity that you would consider interactive in the lecture – the intention is not to watch the whole lecture video (unless you really wish to!) – but rather to quickly browse through the recording.
Also, take a look at these two videos:
3. Professor Eric Mazur Interactive Physics Lectures
Harvard Physics Professor Eric Mazur is well known for his interactive lectures.
Consider how he uses interactivity in his lectures in the videos below. Notice how he uses a quiz type question to drive the learning. He asks students to respond to the question and then tracks the varied responses. He invites the students to discuss their answers. This discussion manifests, for some students, that they don’t understand some aspects of the concepts. He walks around observing, and in some instances, participates in the student discussions. He will then ask students after the discussion to rate the quiz. If the students are unable to resolve the issues he provides some further instruction.
Nokes-Malach, T. J., Richey, J. E., & Gadgil, S. (2015). When is it better to learn together? Insights from research on collaborative learning. Educational Psychology Review, 27(4), 645-656.