Students do not necessarily learn nothing from a lecture, but it may not be the most effective method of learning and information retention.
For those who require additional information
While it cannot be said that students learn absolutely nothing from a lecture, research shows that it may not be the most effective method of learning and information retention. Studies have shown that lecturing alone does not create effective learning and that students who listen to lectures without active engagement often do not retain the information.
One quote from Maryellen Weimer, Professor Emerita of Teaching and Learning at Penn State University, summarises this well: “Students forget most of what they hear in their lectures and remember surprisingly little of what they see and read.”
Here are some interesting facts on the topic:
- Lecturing as a teaching method has existed for centuries, with evidence of it being used in ancient Greece and Rome.
- Since the 19th century, there have been criticisms of the lecture format, with it being called “passive” or “outdated.”
- In recent years, research has shown that active learning strategies, such as discussions, group work, and problem-solving, lead to greater retention of information and overall academic success.
- Despite this, lectures remain a popular teaching method, with many universities continuing to rely on them as a primary mode of instruction.
It should be noted that while lectures may not be the most effective method of learning for every student, some learners may benefit from them more than others. It also depends on the subject matter – for example, a lecture on history may be more effective than one on mathematics.
Here is a table comparing the benefits and drawbacks of a lecture format:
|Can present a large amount of information in a short amount of time||Encourages passive learning|
|Easier to prepare and deliver than other teaching methods||Can be monotonous and boring|
|Allows students to take notes and review material later||May not allow for interactive learning or critical thinking|
|Effective for transmitting factual information||Does not cater to different learning styles|
|Can be delivered to large groups of students||Does not necessarily lead to retention of information|
Erling Kagge, a Norwegian adventurer and author, shares in this TEDxUniversityofStAndrews video the value of silence according to his personal experiences. Kagge believes that silence is a luxury that can transform our perceptions of the world around us and that we can all find it within ourselves. He emphasizes that the pauses between sounds and moments of silence are just as significant as the sounds themselves, and that silence can help individuals gain new perspectives. Kagge notes the importance of silence in activities ranging from running to cooking to studying, and he believes that it is a quality that can unlock new ways of thinking.
Some additional responses to your inquiry
The study showed that students fared worse on tests if they were taught by lectures alone. That finding does not suggest that “learning from lectures” is a complete illusion — only that students don’t learn as much, or as well, as they do from active-learning strategies.
The user query is a question that can be answered with a yes or no, followed by some explanation. No, students do not learn nothing from a lecture, but they may learn more from active learning strategies. However, students may feel that they learn more from lectures, even though they score higher on tests after active learning sessions. One reason why lectures may be less effective is that students get bored and distracted after about 15 minutes.
When the results were tallied, the authors found that students felt as if they learned more from the lectures, but in fact scored higher on tests following the active learning sessions.
Yet it also found that students tended to feel they learned more from listening to a polished lecture. None of that should have been very notable. By now, many studies have demonstrated the superiority of active-learning strategies in the college classroom.
Classroom lectures can be long, boring and ineffective, and Khan Academy founder Salman Khan says they have no place in the education. He points to research that shows that most students get bored and distracted after about 15 minutes, and suggests alternative methods of instruction.