James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

Do Academics Design Lectures for the Space of Delivery?

Posted on | June 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

I was watching David Byrne’s TED video where he was talking about music and the room.

It makes a lot of sense that music would be created for the way and where it would be played.

Does this apply to other presentations?

In particular I am thinking about academics like myself.

How much time, when I am planning a lecture, do I spend thinking about how the lecture will look and of course sound in a particular venue?

None! At least not consciously!

But the way my lecture looks and sounds is very important to the consumer, the student.

And what about the translation of my work to the MP3 player or a car radio and Vimeo?

A lecture is a creative and adaptive activity just like Byrne is talking about with music and in the end birds.

Maybe the problem we are facing as academics is we are no longer creating our lectures and teaching materials to fit the multiple contexts they are being delivered in.

Just a little food for thought.

Maybe we need to change what we do to fit the changing context.


One Response to “Do Academics Design Lectures for the Space of Delivery?”

  1. Adam van Sertima
    June 16th, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Typically, students retain about 10% of what they hear… and the most attentive students effectively stop listening after about 15 minutes. Their attention will return again, but by taking notes, they can double their retention. So in the best case, they retain about twenty percent of a lecture, and when their minds drift(were talking about elite students here) they will actually think about what the professor is talking about.

    If you 1) give them an opportunity to discuss the material among themselves, the retention goes up to 70% and 2) you break your lecture into units of less than 15minute segments(e.g. lecture, discussion, lecture, one -minute essay, lecture, in-class video) the students will both have retained and thought more about your material than if they are simply lectured for an hour and a half.

    This runs counter to traditions that favour students who simply sit and listen, but it respects students with different learning styles.It gives professors the chance to offer smaller amounts of more of material that is more challenging rather than broad swathes of gloss. It frankly requires less energy than simply talking at students- but it requires the prof to think differently about the process.

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