Interactive lecturing: review article & pilot study

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Submitted by Polina Beloborodova

Article Reference

Gülpinar, M. A., & Yeğen, B. Ç. (2005). Interactive lecturing for meaningful learning in large groups. Medical Teacher, 27, 590-594.
Snell, Y. S. L. S. (1999). Interactive lecturing: Strategies for increasing participation in large group presentations. Medical Teacher, 21, 37-42.

Article DOI

Summary of Article

(1) Summary of Snell (1999): review of interactive lecturing techniques
Interactive lecturing is a set of techniques aimed at increasing participation of the audience in the lecture:
• Presenter <=> students
• Students <=> material / content
• Students <=> students
New role of teacher: instructor -> facilitator / coach
Why is it good for learning?
• Active involvement
• Increased attention & motivation
• ‘Higher’ level of thinking (analysis, synthesis, application, problem solving, etc.)
• Feedback to teacher & students
• Increased teacher and student satisfaction
Why teachers don’t use it?
• Fear of losing control and covering all material
• Contextual factors (content, physical setting, time constrains, audience)
1. Breaking the class into smaller groups
2. Questioning the audience:
– straightforward questions
– brainstorming
– rhetorical questions
– surveying the class
– quizzes & short answers
3. Using audience responses
4. Using cases & examples
5. Written materials (handouts)
6. Debates, reaction panels, & guests
7. Simulations & role plays
8. Multimedia (video, audio, etc.)
How to get interactive?
• Take risks & overcome fears
• Prepare & practice
• Set clear objectives, cut on material (less is more)
• Prepare students to get involved
• Be flexible, but not too flexible

(2) Summary of Gülpinar and Yeğen (2005): pilot study on interactive lecturing
Aim: to test a ‘structured integrated interactive’ two-hour block lecture
• effects of the prior knowledge on learning & evaluation of the lecture
• effects of well-structured advanced organizer on learning & evaluation
• impact of clinical integration on the comprehension of basic sciences
Lecture outline:
• Using the same template across the lecture: (1) for gradually adding details, (2) for introducing associated pathologies
• Interactive task every 10-15 min
• Using clinical cases with structured evaluations charts
1. Pretest: evaluation of prior knowledge (pre-lecture test)
2. Posttest: problem solving skills (performance on cases, evaluated by instructor)
3. Lecture evaluation questionnaire
Sample: 93 students of a large Turkish university
• Evaluation: 92% successful, mostly positive comments
• Interactivity: 43.9% evaluated as interactive, 35.7% as partially interactive
• Issues: content wasn’t limited, fast pace
• 90% showed acceptable performance on evaluating cases (problem solving)
• Significant correlation (r = .2) of pre-lecture test scores and case scores in one of two topics of the lecture
• Interactive lecturing facilitates more meaningful in interactive learning in large groups
• Higher order thinking and development of problem solving skills can be achieved to some extent with interactive lecturing
• Prior knowledge is important for learning processes and learning outcomes

Discussion Questions

  1. Which interactive lecturing techniques would work best for the course that you would like to teach in the future? Provide a few examples.

    Summary of discussion:
    – Working in small groups
    – Asking students to repeat what the instructor said a while ago
    – Asking questions
    – Using technology for surveys

  2. Which interactive lecturing techniques would work better for younger audiences? Which ones would be better for older audiences?

    Summary of discussion:
    – It’s not about the choice of techniques, but their adaptation to various audiences (e.g. organizing group work in more structured way for undergraduate students and less structured for graduate students)
    – Other factors to consider: institutional setting (university vs. community college), familiarity with interactive teaching

  3. What are possible negative consequences of interactive lecturing?

    Summary of discussion:
    – Too much interactivity can lead to losses in material covered and can be annoying for the audience
    – Technology has to be checked before the lecture
    – Students may disclose too personal information
    – Lecture may go out of control (e.g. students may start discussing irrelevant topics in groups)
    – Students may give wrong answers and examples