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Interactive lectures in engineering education

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This article discusses an alternative approach to lecturing: the interactive lecture. In the literature, interactive teaching is forwarded as a means to increase the effectiveness of lectures. Members of lecturing staff still seem, however, reluctant to incorporate interactive teaching in their classes,as interaction reduces the time they can devote to explaining subject matter. Lecturers often voice the concern that they will not get enough material across in interactive lectures and that this consequently will negatively affect student learning. In order to establish whether or not the concerns of lecturers could be empirically verified, an experimental study was conducted. This study examined the effects of interactive teaching in lectures, using an interactive voting system and peer instruction, on: the attainment of learning objectives; student motivation; and student perception of the instruction offered. From the results a complex picture emerges. Results suggest that students may learn as much in interactive lectures compared with traditional lectures, but a traditional lecture may also result in active student involvement. The study indicated that interactive teaching will not automatically result in students who are more activated, and provided additional insight into conditions for successful interactive teaching. Finally, interactive teaching was shown to influence positively student motivation.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-03-01

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