Online lecturing differs significantly from face-to-face lecturing, and online lectures can be powerful learning tools when well-constructed. Most online lectures are delivered by recording so that instructors have the opportunity to revise and re-record if they hear themselves saying “um” or another conversational place-holder too frequently.

  • Preparing a script of the lecture and making it available as a download supports learners who need to see the written text and allows learners to download material quickly, using less bandwidth. 
  • Scripts also prevent the persistent “ums” that may plague an instructor.  
  • Like face-to-face lectures, solid online lectures begin with strong design. 
  • Online lectures must be clearly focused to meet a single outcome. Perhaps the outcome is a small piece of actionable knowledge or a small piece of a skill that learners will need to reach the full course outcome. 
  • Following the lecture, instructors may provide some sort of self-testing mechanism so that learners can gauge their command of the material before proceeding. 
  • Instructors may also choose to use the Adaptive Release feature so that learners cannot proceed to the next section without achieving a certain level of concept mastery on the previous one. 
  • Online learners struggle to pay attention to lectures more than 10-15 minutes long, so look for natural breaks in lectures that occur in that time window. 
  • If possible, add to the lecture with images, slides, videos, or other learning objects that offer additional ways for learners to engage the content. If the instructor chooses to use images, slides, or videos, the instructor will want to be sure that alt-text and scripts are available. 
  • These techniques also support learners who access the course with little bandwidth. Learners will often re-view a lecture in order to master the material, so providing shorter segments can help them to grasp the content more fully. 

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