- Who Am I Lecturing To?
- What am I Supposed to Lecture About?
- How Do I Write Learning Objectives For My Lecture?
- At What Level Should I Pitch My Lecture?
- Do I Really Need To Use The Objectives “They” Give Me?
- How Do I Organize My Lecture?
- How Much Time Do I Really Have?
- How do I Prepare My PowerPoint Presentation?
- Do I Have to Provide A Handout to the Students?
- Am I Responsible for Writing Exam Questions?
The first year class is composed of 264 students (224 medical and 40 dental students). From September to December, all first year students are located Vancouver. In January, 24 students move to Prince George and 24 move to Victoria. In the second year of the program, students continue at these 3 sites.
|Education:||> 90% Bachelor’s|
|~ 15% Master’s +|
The first 2 years of medical school is composed of a sequential series of “System” Blocks such as “Pulmonary”, “Gastroenterology” etc. and a parallel series of longitudinal courses such as Family Practice, Clinical Skills, and Doctor, Patients and Society.
Each Block addresses the basic science issues including the anatomy, histology, physiology, and pathology associated with that system in an integrated fashion. The clinical sciences may be addressed in the Block; however the primary emphasis of the first 2 years is to give students a strong foundation in the basic sciences that will serve them well in their clinical years. Each Block has a set of learning objectives which are addressed by the lectures, labs, and small group problem-based learning sessions. The instructional strategies are meant to compliment – not necessarily overlap – each other. Each lecture should have a specific set of objectives.
You should have been given a specific goal or set of objectives for your lecture. If the objective that you have been asked to address is very broad you may need to refine this objective down to 3-5 specific objectives.
For more hints on how to prepare a good lecture print out our Healthy Lecture Checklist.
Start with explicitly stating the Goal for the lecture- goals describe the broad purpose of a lecture and how it fits into the week’s objectives. It is usually a single sentence and can be used as an opening slide. Goals are often general and difficult to measure.
State the Learning Objectives for the lecture – learning objectives state the specific objective and measurable behavioral outcomes that the student will be able to perform at the completion of the lecture. Each lecture should have three to five specific learning objectives.
For a quick tutorial on how to write an objective go to: Writing Learning Objectives Beginning with the End in Mind (Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Learning objectives can be developed using an ABCD approach:
- Identify the Audience.
- Choose objective and measurable Behaviors that reflect the specific learning domain such as cognitive, affective and psychomotor. These action verbs are the most important part of the learning objective.
- Identify the Condition of the behavior. Under what conditions will the competency be measured. This may include the specific learning resources the student should use and or learning aids. (eg. Textbook, Practice Guideline).
- State the Depth or Degree. Specify the depth of learning expected or degree of skill expected at the end of the session.
Remember to choose your action verb carefully! Each domain (cognitive, affective, psychomotor) can then be further divided into different levels reflecting the higher level of thinking required by the learner- knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation (Bloom’s taxonomy).
For example, knowledge-based objectives often require the learner only to recall the information, where as application-based objectives require the learner to recall the information, understand the material and apply this understanding to solve a problem. Specific action verbs should be chosen for the relevant domain.
Below is an example of verbs that can be used to assess the cognitive domain in a subject.
|clarifyclassifyconvert describe diagram explain||adaptapplydevelop
As an expert you probably know a lot about your topic and it may be difficult to decide how much the students really need to know. At what depth should you lecture?
It might be helpful to review the recommended textbook for the students as this will guide you with the level of detail the students are expected to know. Secondly, you can review the questions posted on their weekly quizzes (access to archived MEDICOL) or their final exams.
Talk to colleagues in your Block to get a sense of their lecture level. Ultimately it is important to revise your lecture to fit the needs of your audience – one lecture does not fit all learners (undergrad, post-grad, etc).
There are two good reasons for sticking to your objectives.
One of the most common student complaints is that there is too much overlap between lectures. If you broaden your objectives you may be covering material that has already been taught to the students. If you are not sure what to address, it can be helpful to review the entire Block schedule – including other lectures’ objectives – and asking for copies of the handouts from other lectures.
If you would like to know what has been covered in other Blocks, ask one of the Course Directors:
- Prince George: Dr. Hanh Huynh for Years 1 & 2.
- Vancouver: Dr. Niamh Kelly for Year 1; Dr. Kerry Jang for Year 2.
- Victoria: Dr. Kathy Gaul for Years 1 & 2.
Secondly, in principle, all of the written exams are based on the objectives outlined for each Block. In the past, lecturers have been asked to contribute three to five questions each to the weekly student quizzes and the final exams.
Changing your objectives without checking with your Block Chair may result in you lecturing on a topic that is ultimately not being assessed: a frustrating experience for the students!
Start by explicitly stating the purpose of the lecture. Present a slide which outlines three to five specific objectives for the lecture: it is helpful for students to see how the lecture will be structured.
Different methods of structuring lectures (classical, problem centered, sequential, etc…) are outlined in the recommended article AMEE Medical Education Guide No. 22, page 233, “Refreshing lecturing: a guide for lecturers”.
The important take home point is that an obvious structure to your lecture helps students learn more effectively. All lectures should end with a summary of three to five major points that the students are expected to know.
Yes, the schedule says 10:00 – 10:50, however a helpful principle about lecturing is to plan on one third of the time for questions or interactive learning activities.
Therefore, you should plan on lecturing for 35-40 minutes maximum, which translates into approximately 35 slides. This will allow for 10-15 minutes for interactive activities throughout the lecture.
While some lecturers like to “save the questions” for the end it can be a more effective to schedule question breaks through out the presentation. Please respect the students’ twenty minute break between lectures!
- Use the right Type: Arial
- Use the right Size for a large audience: 28 point bullets; 36 point headings
- 7 lines per slide; 7 words per line max Don’t reduce font to fit it all in!
Slide Templates: Your information should take the spotlight (not the slide template)
- Use simple colour combinations
- B & W or darker background with light text
- Don’t use complex 3-D PowerPoint templates
Avoid Distractions: The fewer the distractions, the more the audience can concentrate on the presentation.
- Use static images.
- Burn video clips to separate DVD-R (don’t embed into PowerPoint)
- Avoid animations in presentations.
- Avoid slide (or bullet) transitions.
For more hints about giving a videoconferenced lecture print out our Videoconference Lecture Checklist!
As a lecturer you have a choice as to whether or not you prepare a handout for your students. Know this however: students really appreciate well-designed handouts. Also, a handout can help students learn better during your lecture.
In particular a handout can enhance the students’ ability to follow the structure of your lecture. If the visual link fails (a situation that has been known to happen!) students can better follow the audio portion of the lecture by following the outline given to them.
The best handouts are “interactive” ones: interactive handouts contain key points, diagrams, and a skeletal outline of the presentation. Often there is room for the students to add their own notes: this type of supplement aids a student’s recall better than a full handout (AMEE Guide No. 22 p241 “Refreshing lecturing: a guide for lecturers”.
Students have access to weekly practice multiple-choice-question quizzes on their MEDICOL website. They also write comprehensive multiple-choice-question exams at the end of their first and second years. The exams are made up of multiple choice questions that have been written by teachers within each block and forwarded to an exam writing committee.
Lecturers are encouraged to submit questions assessing the learning objectives stated in their lecture. For more guidance on how to write questions, go to the Office for Faculty Development and Educational Support’s Guidelines for Preparing Multiple Choice Questions for Teachers.