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

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

Donald A. Bligh

ISBN: 978-0-787-95162-7

Jan 2000, Jossey-Bass

368 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock



"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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Preface to the American Edition xi

The Author xix

Part One: what Objectives cab Lectures Achieve?

1 Evidence of what Lectures Achieve 3

Part Two: What Factors Affect the Acquisition of Information?

2 Factors Influencing Memory 23

3 Factors Affecting Students’ Attention 44

4 Motivating Students 57

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

5 Lecture Organization 69

6 Making a Point 89

7 Reasons and Explanations 103

8 Aids to Comprehending a Point 114

9 Note Taking in Lectures 129

10 The Purpose, Preparation, and Use the Handouts 148

11 Lecture Styles 163

12 Ways of Obtaining Feedback 173

13 Evaluation of Lectures 184

14 Overcoming Common Difficulties 214

15 Lectures for the Promotion of Thought 232

16 Lectures to Teach Attitudes 239

Part Four: Alternatives When Lecturing is Inadequate

17 The Lecture Method Alone is Rarely Adequate 251

18 Teaching Methods to use with Lectures 260

19 Some Combinations of Teaching Methods 282

Part Five: Preparation for the use of Lectures

20 Thinking the Lecture Through 291

21 Writing the Notes 297

22 Lecturing for the First Time 303

23 Conclusion 306

References and Bibliography 309

Name Index 335

Subject Index 341

"This book has a wealth of information and ideas..." (Exchanges, 7/19/02)