Career Advice: Boring Within or Simply Boring? - Inside Higher Ed
In the age of computer-based learning, lecturing gets treated like Model-T Ford. Don’t be deceived; lecturing remains a staple of the academy and it’s likely to remain so for quite some time. University class sizes have swelled in the wake of budget cuts that have delayed (or canceled) faculty searches. A recent study of eleven Ohio four-year colleges reveals that 25 percent of introductory classes have more than 120 students and only a shortage of teaching assistants has kept the percentage that low. At the University of Massachusetts, 12 percent of all classes have enrollments of over 50 and lectures of over 200 are quite common. As long as universities operate on the assembly-line model, lecturing will remain integral to the educational process.
"The most common reason for bad lecturing isn’t phobia; it’s that professors don’t value the craft enough to hone their skills. Use such individuals as negative role models. Think of the most boring lecturer you’ve ever encountered. Do the opposite! Bad lecturers violate nearly every rule of good communication. They never vary voice timbre or pitch. They either stare at their notes or ignore them altogether and ramble onto whatever topic comes to mind. They never make eye contact with their audience or use visual aids and handouts. Everything comes out at the same speed, and they never, ever show the slightest bit of life when discussing the very subject that supposedly excites them. Check for a pulse; if you can stay awake! Step one to improving your lecture skills is to purge yourself of bad communication habits, but the rest of lecturing is a formula. Mix with enthusiasm and repeat the following ..."
Advice on lecturing