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What's the Use of Lectures?: First U.S. Edition of the Classic Work on Lecturing

ISBN: 978-0-7879-5162-7
368 pages
January 2000, Jossey-Bass
What
"A comprehensive guide to the uses and possible abuses of the lecture method. Supported by copious research, Bligh offers a wealth of practical suggestions for making lectures more engaging and effective. Written in an accessible and helpful style, What's the Use of Lectures? should be required reading for all college teachers who use this method."

--Stephen Brookfield, Distinguished Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

"A rewarding read for anyone who lectures--experienced or not. I wish we had a book this engaging and this informative on every element of the teaching art."

--Michele Marincovich, assistant vice provost and director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford University

"A source of great insight for people who teach.... Bligh has spent more time and energy than anyone else in coming to terms with a task that bothers many teachers and trainers.... His research is impeccable and his conclusions are immensely practical. The new edition will be much welcomed."

--Alex Main, founding coordinator of Academic Staff Development for the British Universities, Murdoch University, Australia

In this first American edition of a best-selling classic, Donald Bligh draws from decades of research and hands-on experience to help college and university teachers develop and use lectures effectively. What's the Use of Lectures? is an indispensable guide for anyone who aspires to be a skilled lecturer and teacher. It examines the nature of teaching and learning in a classroom lecture--describing how students learn, how much knowledge they retain, and how to enhance their attention and motivation. Bligh builds on this information to share strategies for creating organized, thoughtful, and effective lectures. Topics include taking notes, using handouts, practicing different formats and styles, obtaining feedback, overcoming difficulties, evaluating the lecture, and testing alternative methods when lecturing is not adequate. Also included are tables and diagrams to illustrate different approaches to lecturing.
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Part One: What Objectives Can Lectures Achieve?.

1. Evidence of What Lectures Achieve.

Part Two: What Factors Affect the Acquisition of Information?.

2. Factors Influencing Memory.

3. Factors Affecting Students' Attention.

4. Motivating Students.

Part Three: What Lecture Techniques Apply These Factors Most Effectively?.

5. Lecture Organization.

6. Making a Point.

7. Reasons and Explanations.

8. Aids to Comprehending a Point.

9. Note Taking in Lectures.

10. The Purpose, Preparation, and Use of Handouts.

11. Lecture Styles.

12. Ways of Obtaining Feedback.

13. Evaluation of Lectures.

14. Overcoming Common Difficulties.

15. Lectures for the Promotion of Thought.

16. Lectures to Teach Attitudes.

Part Four: Alternatives When Lecturing Is Inadequate.

17. The Lecture Method Alone Is Rarely Adequate.

18. Teaching Methods to Use with Lectures.

19. Some Combinations of Teaching Methods.

Part Five: Preparation for the Use of Lectures.

20. Thinking the Lecture Through.

21. Writing the Notes.

22. Lecturing for the First Time.

23. Conclusion.
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DONALD A. BLIGH was a pioneer in university staff development when he joined London University's Teaching Methods Unit. It was there, in 1971, that he wrote the best-selling What's the Use of Lectures? He was later elected as Chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education. He was the first professor and director of continuing education at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom and is now honorary research fellow in computer science at Exeter University.
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"This book has a wealth of information and ideas..." (Exchanges, 7/19/02)

"In this long awaited American edition of his classic What's the Use of Lectures?, Donald Bligh provides a comprehensive guide to the uses and possible abuses of the lecture method. Supported by copious research, Bligh offers a wealth of practical suggestions for making lectures more engaging and effective. Written in an accessible and helpful style, What's the Use of Lectures? should be required reading for all college teachers who use this method." —Stephen Brookfield, Distinguished Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

"Bligh combines decades of experience as a faculty developer and in-depth knowledge of the research literature to create a refreshing review of the advantages and disadvantages of lectures and a practical guide to making lectures more effective for students. This is a rewarding read for anyone who lectures--experienced or not. I wish we had a book this engaging and this informative on every element of the teaching art." —Michele Marincovich, assistant vice provost and director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford University

"What's the Use of Lectures? continues to be one of the best sources for new lecturers (as well as old) who want their lecture classes to contribute maximally to student learning." —W. J. McKeachie, professor emeritus, Department of Psychology, and research scientist emeritus, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan

"This very readable book will be a source of great insight for people who teach. Donald Bligh has spent more time and energy than anyone else in coming to terms with a task that bothers many teachers and trainers. He offers a well-structured perspective on one of the core activities in higher education. His research is impeccable and his conclusions are immensely practical. The new edition will be much welcomed." —Alex Main, founding coordinator of Academic Staff Development for the British Universities, Murdoch University, Australia

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What's the Use of Lectures?: First U.S. Edition of the Classic Work on Lecturing (US $40.00)

-and- Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom (US $29.00)

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