There is an opinion in higher education that lectures are over-rated, boring, and they create passive learners. I’m of the opinion that lectures can be learner-centered and extremely effective for active learning.

Creating learner-centered lectures that enable active learning will require some adjustments when planning and developing lectures for an online course. Here are suggestions for effective lectures for online instruction:

Be Brief

Effective learner-centered online lectures need to be shorter, not longer! Chunk the lectures to specific concepts with each lecture not being more than ten minutes. Instead of preparing a 30 minute lecture, prepare 3-4 very short lectures on specific concepts. Students lose interest and become disengaged with long lectures.

Be Personal

Share your life with the student. Students enjoy knowing you, your relevant experiences of the topic, and they want to connect with you through these lectures. Students will give more of themselves to the coursework if you give more of yourself. Sharing your feelings about the topic will encourage them in their studies and will endear them to you.

Be Conversational

Students often find recorded lectures to be boring! They often complain about instructors that read the PowerPoints to them! They want the PowerPoint to be a talking point, an opportunity for you to have a conversation related to the topic. The more relaxed, informal, and personal you can be, the more willing the student will be to engage in the course.

Be Engaging

Engaging a student that you can’t see and will likely never meet is certainly challenging for the online instructor. To engage these learners, you will need to ask questions, present real-life problems, and discuss controversial subjects.

An effective lecture will trigger the student’s curiosity to search for answers, to reflect and discuss with others to find solutions. To be engaging for the student, the topic needs to be fun, worthwhile, and it always helps if it’s relevant to them.

Effective lectures in an online course are about motivating the student’s interest and preparing them to understand the content of the lesson. An effective lecture not only prepares them for the examination, but it also prepares them for life-long learning.

What do you think about this? Do you have any other tips on delivering effective online lectures? Let us know in the comment section below.

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