The Interactive Lecture

This is the second of a series of “Teaching Tips” that aims to make your lectures dynamic, infused with active strategies that help your students remember and apply the content. These tips are based on Harrington and Zakrajsek’s (2017) Dynamic Lecturing.

There are several types of lectures, storytelling, discussion-based, and the focus here, interactive. A brief description: 15-20 minutes of content followed by “active learning” events. Activities allow learners to apply the information just presented. Two examples of active learning: (1) with a case study, learners pair to discuss the differential diagnosis and decide on clinical tests; (2) form learner groups to identify a relevant example or application.

Advantages of interactive lectures: (1) immediate application of knowledge just heard; (2) maintained engagement of learners; (3) real-time feedback to make adjustments to the lecture. Disadvantages: (1) time to prepare interactive lectures; (2) students may engage in off-task behaviors. Although less content MAY be covered, overall learning is increased and students have the opportunity for self-directed learning.