Enhancing the Classroom Lecture: A Professional Development Guide to Better Connect Students with Classroom Academic Content for Faculty Utilizing the Lecture Curriculum Delivery Method

ABSTRACT ENHANCING THE CLASSROOM LECTURE: A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDE TO BETTER CONNECT STUDENTS WITH CLASSROOM ACADEMIC CONTENT FOR FACULTY UTILIZING THE LECTURE CURRICULUM DELIVERY METHOD by © David Shirah 2010 Master of Arts in Education Educational Leadership and Administration Option California State University, Chico Spring 2010 Our branches of learning can be traced back to ancient universities. Current practices in universities are not much different from the origins of university established centuries ago in 1200 A.D. Paris. The dominant mode of curriculum delivery in those early years, as is today, was the lecture. The lecture in its purest form promotes one-way communication, is passive, auditory and provides limited student engagement if not augmented. Although it is well documented this teacher-centered, knowledge-based form of curriculum delivery is not an effective method to achieve student learning in higher education, it is a necessary vice that will continue to be the dominant mode of curriculum delivery for some time to come. This necessity for the lecture stems in large part out of mounting pressures from public policies being placed on modern day universities to respond to our transition from an industrial society to a knowledge-based society. Enrollments in higher education have increased dramatically while resources to support increasing numbers of students have not kept pace due to economic pressures. This in turn has created increased student/ teacher ratios that the lecture curriculum delivery method accommodates nicely. These pressures combined with a new emerging student population that are not prepared for college and an increased diverse range of regional, ethnic, and socioeconomic student backgrounds, create a need today more than ever before for university faculty to possess teaching skills to meet these challenges. Unfortunately, most college professors are never trained to be teachers and lack the skills necessary to successfully augment their lectures. Most employment in higher education only requires a degree and knowledge to teach. Dissertations demand research; teaching skills are assumed to be easy for intelligent people. Learning how to teach is limited to psychologists and schools of education. Teaching at higher education institutions is arguably the only skilled profession that requires no prior training and provides no on-the-job-training. The purpose of this project was to make available a professional development guide and skills workshop plan to aid higher education lecturers in augmenting their curriculum in a way that enhances their teaching effectiveness and increases student learning. The guide provides a single source of information on the lecture and lecturer, best and and poor practices from literature reviewed, and research on the transaction side of the lecture, the students. Student research data is put together in the final chapter of the guide as 7 Steps to Lecture Pedagogy Resuscitation According to Students. The professional development lecture workshop plan provides a “business plan” for establishing need, organizing and implementing an effective skills training workshop for the lecture method of curriculum delivery. The workshop also includes the creation of Professional Peer Learning Circles (PPLCs) to provide ongoing opportunities for participants to further enhance their teaching effectiveness, and documents evidence of learning.