Welcome to the August issue of Teaching Matters: Lectures

Photo credit: Pixabay, jarmoluk, CC0

Welcome to the August issue of Teaching Matters: Lectures

This issue focuses on the role of lectures at university. Typically the pedagogical mainstay of University teaching, lectures vary hugely in their delivery and effectiveness. As Dr Michael Gallagher, a Lecturer in Digital Education at The University of Edinburgh, wrote in a previous Teaching Matters post:

Lectures have been a core practice in universities for centuries. While there has been debate around their role in modern higher education in light of recent research, which positions them as ineffective pedagogical instruments, there have been equally passionate and compelling defences made for them.

Along with The Near Future Teaching project team, Michael looked at the role of lectures in the near future of digital education at the University of Edinburgh, and created a short video, which highlighted the contested space lectures occupy in Higher Education today:

This month, Teaching Matters has asked contributors to consider what an effective lecture looks like, what place lectures now have within HE today, and how technologies and innovations are changing the learning experience in lectures. For example, we have staff and student contributors who discuss what the term ‘The freedom to learn’ means (Dr Medhat Khattar), debate if the traditional lecture still has a role in modern university teaching (Dr Richard Milne), and reflect on innovation in lectures (student Holly Barsham).

The issue will close with a podcast episode and blog post summarising the session, ‘What is a lecture for?’, held at the recent University’s Learning and Teaching Conference.

I also highly recommend delving back into the Teaching Matters’ archives to read some previously written posts on teaching and learning in lectures:


The mental health and wellbeing mini-series continues into August, co-edited by Andy Shanks, Director of Student Wellbeing. The ‘imposter syndrome’ post by Harriet Harris, published in July, seems to have struck a chord with our readers. This month, there will be posts from Dr Rosie Stenhouse on training all staff to have confidence in supporting mental health issues, and Kate McHugh, who discusses the links between lifelong learning and wellbeing. Podcast episodes discussing issues around this mini-series will be released in September.

Happy reading…!

Jenny Scoles

Dr Jenny Scoles is the editor of Teaching Matters. She is an Academic Developer (Learning and Teaching Enhancement) in the Institute for Academic Development, and provides pedagogical support for University course and programme design. Her interests include student engagement, professional learning and sociomaterial methodologies.

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