lecture

Conveying large amounts of material efficiently and clarifying complex ideas


Tyler VanderWeeleTyler VanderWeele, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology, uses lectures to integrate and illuminate core concepts, bringing new insights to students and sometimes for his own scholarship in the process. His courses—on religion and public health, on applied statistics, and on research design—often cross disciplinary boundaries and involve unexpected combinations of ideas. 

The benefits: VanderWeele believes that lectures can be profound learning experiences for the audience and the lecturer alike when they can convey large... Read more about Conveying large amounts of material efficiently and clarifying complex ideas

Interactive lecturing: High-leverage teaching practices to energize students


This issue of Into Practice is adapted from Instructional Moves content produced by the Teaching and Learning Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Paola ArlottaPaola Arlotta, Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, creates an environment of active inquiry, experimentation, and brainstorming by employing interactive lecturing in her course, Got (New) Brain? The Evolution of Brain Regeneration. An approach which spurs discussion that “often spans multiple fields of study.”

The benefits: Her interactive, Socratic teaching style engages students more deeply in the content and encourages broader participation. “I am engaging students not simply by asking a question but having them feel that they can ask me a question or challenge my views.... Read more about Interactive lecturing: High-leverage teaching practices to energize students

Problems and puzzles: Boosting engagement with interactivity


Joshua GreeneJoshua Greene, Professor of Psychology, designs course sessions for maximum engagement by creating interactive opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to grapple with problems and challenge one another. “It’s not a puzzle if there are not two competing, compelling arguments. I try to use students’ natural inclinations to achieve my pedagogical purposes—if they’re not at least a little confused, then I’m not doing my job.”

The benefits: Organizing both seminar-style discussions and large lecture lessons around a practical disagreement engages students... Read more about Problems and puzzles: Boosting engagement with interactivity

The Benefit of Interactive Learning

A 2014 Harvard Graduate School of Education Master Class featured physics professor Eric Mazur on peer instruction, an interactive method for teaching large lectures.