The Lecture System.
UH: The Lecture Method - How Effective? (99.07.09) (Lion F. Gardiner

THE LECTURE METHOD LECM SCHA Passivity      Oral   Defects  Glósur   GARDINER =LECT

A study of nearly 1,800 faculty members at five different types of institutions found that, regardless of institutional type (large or small, public or independent, community college or research university), an average of 73 to 83 percent of respondents chose the lecture as their principal instructional method over discussion, recitation, lab/shop, applied instruction (in music), and individualized instruction (Blackburn et al. 1980).

"Give . . . faculty almost any kind of class in any subject, large or small, upper or lower division, and they will lecture" (p. 41). Other studies have repeatedly confirmed the pervasiveness of the lecture. Recent research by Thielens found the lecture method was the modal instructional method used by "89 percent of the physical scientists and mathematicians, 81 percent of the social scientists, and 61 percent of the humanities faculty (although 81 percent of the art historians and 90 percent of the philosophers lectured)" (Bonwell and Eison 1991, p. 3).

A report by the Association of American Medical Colleges points out that 37 percent of North American medical schools scheduled over 1,000 hours of lectures for the first two-year, preclinical medicine curriculum, and another 42 percent scheduled between 800 and 1,000 hours (I'anel 1984). With "abundant evidence [indicating] that the educational yield from lectures is generally low" (p. 12), the report recommends reducing scheduled lectures by one-third to one-half and allowing students unscheduled time for more productive learning activities.

Since the medieval universities of Paris and Bologna (Haskins 1957), the lecture has shown remarkable durability in the face of technological advances and the   often sharp attacks of its critics, themselves dating back almost as far (McLeish 1968).

But how effective are lectures in fostering important outcomes for students?

A review of five different studies concludes that students learn more from reading complex material than they do from lectures about it
(Davis and Alexander 1977a).

Davis, R.H., and L.T.Alexander. 1977a "The Lecture Method."
Guides fro the Imporvement of Instruction in Higher Education, No 5. East Lansing: Michigan State Univ.

Further two of the studies reviewed conclude that the process of trying to to take notes from a lecture, although useful for aiding recall later on and in raising test scores, can interfere with immediate retention of information communicated in a lecture (Davis and Alexander 1977a)

A review of 17 studies comparing lectures concludes that lectures are as effective as learning low-level factual material
(McKea research clearly favors discussion over the instructional method when the variables studied are
- retention of information after a course is over,
- transfer of knowledge to novel situations, development of ; or
- problem solving, or
- achievement of affective outcomes such as motivation for additional learning or
- change in  attitudes in other words, the kinds of learning we care most about.

A review of seven additional studies (Alexander 1977a) supports this finding.

Other studies suggest further limitations means of student development. A review (Davis and Alexander 1977a) reveals that students who benefit most from lectures are those who "brighter" better educated, and from families of higher socioeconomic status, in other words, presumably those students with relatively highly developed abstract reasoning skills

(The studies on which these statements are based were all completed when students were better prepared for college than they often now are, long before the opening in the 1960s and 1970s of colleges and universities to all citizens and the appearance on campuses of large number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.) But two other studies cited by Davis, Fry, and Alexander (1977) suggest that even more able students gain more from discussion than from more directive methods, such as lectures.


Virtually every model for teaching thinking and fostering intellectual development advocates extensive student-teacher and student-student discussion. But engaging students in classroom dialogue is not always easy. Dialogue in college classrooms is scarce; teachers questions are dominated by requests for factual information. Class discussions often stay at the level of "quiz shows, " "rambling bull" sessions, or `wrangling bull" sessions <Kurfis; 1988, p. GG).

In a "quiz show," teachers merely ask students for information and, by doing so, may reinforce a concrete, fact oriented, dualistic epistemology.

"Rambling bull sessions'
consist of students multiplistically sharing unchallenged opinions,
"wrangling bull sessions" of students dogmatically arguing their opinions on a controversial topic.

Both types of bull sessions may reinforce rather than challenge cognitively simplistic dualist or multiplistic epistemologies by failing to demand
carefully reasoned contextual evaluation of evidence.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) long ago produced his own straightforward critique of lectures:

People have nowdays . . . got a strange opinion that every thing should be taught by lectures.

Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. . . . Lectures were once useful, but now, when all can read, and books are so numerous, lectures are

(Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., pp. 144, 471).
More              Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Reference: Redesigning Higher Education Producing Dramatic Gains in Student Learning  (p. 38-30)
Lion F Gardiner   ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports 1994-7  AZ     AV_Lion F. Gardiner  AV_ASHE-ERIC+HER
Gardiner, Lion F     335 Greenwich St   New York, NY 10013    212-226-2749  MAP



Further links:

Boswell's Life of Johnson.  

Presents the full text of "The Life of Samuel Johnson" by James Boswell (1740-1795). Notes that the online version is edited by Jack Lynch from the two-volume Oxford edition of 1904. Includes notes on the text and links to other resources on Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) and the 18th century.  

Davis, Robert H.
Davis, Robert H., et al. "Appendixes to the Discussion Method: Guides for the Improvement of Instruction in Higher Education." No. 6
(East Lansing: Board of Trustees, Michigan State University, 1977), 30-36.

Davis, Robert H., Alexander, Lawrence T. and Yelon, Stephen L.
Learning System Design: An Approach to the Improvement of Instruction. New York:
McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1974.

Davis, Robert H., (1957-1989), Ph.D., Professor of Physics

Davis, Robert H. and Lawrence T. Alexander et al.
Guides for the Improvement of Instruction in Higher Education. Guides 1-14.
East Lansing: Michigan State Univ. Instructional Media Center, 1977-1978.



Physicians for the Twenty-First Century, the GPEP Report, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1984 AV_GPEP_1984
TI: Physicians for the Twenty-First Century: The GPEP Report. Report of the Project Panal on the General and Professional Education of the Physician and College Preparation for Medicine
AU: Muller, S
SO: J MED EDUC (1984) ??

General Professional Education of the Physician (GPEP), Physicians for the Twenty-First Century: The GPEP Report. Washington, D.C.: AAMC, 1984.

AZ_Medical Education

Lánspöntun: (99.07.09)
Physicians for the Twenty-First Century, the GPEP Report, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1984

Til leiđbeiningar um ISBN:  (ekki til pöntunar)
Aamc Directory of American Medical Education 1995-96 (Issn 0360-7437)
by Association of American Medical Colleges
Our Price: $75.00
Paperback (October 1995)
Assn of Amer Medical Colleges; ISBN: 9995732300

AZ_Lecture Method in Teaching
AZ_Specific Methods Of Instruction In Higher Education

Successful College Teaching : Problem-Solving Strategies of Distinguished Professors
by Sharon A. Baiocco, Jamie N. Dewaters  List Price: $35.00
Our Price: $24.50 You Save: $10.50 (30%) Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
Hardcover - 304 pages (May 1998)
Allyn & Bacon; ISBN: 0205266541  AZ

Reading List
:  Prepared for the Commonfund's Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Colloquium

Costs and Cost Controls in Higher Education
Improving Productivity in Higher Education
The Funding of Public Higher Education
Tuition, Financial Aid, and Enrollments
Endowment Management and Growth
Risk Management

Costs and Cost Controls in Higher Education

Clotfelter, Charles T. Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996.

Shafer, Barbara and William S. Reed. "Consortia in Higher Education: Leveraging Time, Talents, and Resources." NACUBO
Business Officer (July, 1995) Portfolio: 45-51.

Hollins, Carol S., Ed. Containing Costs and Improving Productivity in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992. PWH:

Leslie, David M. Wise Moves in Hard Times: Creating and Managing Resilient Colleges and Universities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Massy, William F., and Joel W. Meyerson, Eds. Strategy and Finance in Higher Education. Princeton, N.J.: Peterson's Guides, 1992.

Morrell, Louis R. "Early Retirement Incentive Plans: An Analysis of the Risks and Rewards." NACUBO Business Officer (July 1993) 27.1:

Simpson, William Brand, Ed. Managing with Scarce Resources. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.

Tough Choices: A Guide to Administrative Cost Management in Colleges and Universities. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education,
Office of Planning, Budget, and Evaluation, 1990.

Zemsky, Robert, and William Massy. "Cost Containment: Committing to a New Economic Reality." Change (Nov-Dec 1990) 22.6: 16-22.

---, and William Massy. "On Reversing the Ratchet." Change
(May-June 1993) 25.3: 56-62.

Improving Productivity in Higher Education

Detweiler, Richard A. "Leading the Transition to Information Technology." Educational Record (Win 1995) 76.1: 53-57.

Ernst, David J. "Institutional Resources and Institutional Effectiveness: The Need for a Holistic Approach to Planning and Budgeting."
CAUSE/EFFECT (Spr 1995) 18.1: 11-13.

Green, Kenneth C. "Great Expectations: Content, Communications, Productivity, and the Role of Information Technology in Higherm Education."
Change (Mar-Apr 1995) 27.2: 8-18.

Business Process Redesign for Higher Education.
Washington, DC: National Association of College and University Business Officers, 1994.

Guskin, Alan E. "Reducing Students Costs and Enhancing Student Learning: The University Challenge of the 1990s." Change (Jul-Aug
1994) 26.4: 22-29.

---. "Reducing Student Costs and Enhancing Student Learning. Part II: Restructuring the Role of the Faculty." Change (Sep-Oct 1994)
26.5: 16-25.

Higher Education Must Change. Association Of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges Special Report. (May/June), 1992.

Johnson, Sandra L. and Jillinda J. Kidwell. Reinventing the University. N.Y., New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1996

Keating, Patrick, Neal F. Binstock, John A. Fry, Philip J. Goldstein, and Alfonso de Lucio "Change as a Constant." NACUBO Business
Officer (May, 1996) 50-56.

Hahn, Robert. "The Keys to Wise Investment in Technology." Trusteeship (Nov-Dec 1995) 3.6: 27-29.

Johnson, Sandra L., and Sean C. Rush, Eds. Reinventing the University: Managing and Financing Institutions of Higher
Education. New York: J. Wiley, 1995.

Martin, James. "The Near and Far of Distance Learning."
Trusteeship (Mar-Apr 1995) 3.2: 26-31.

---, and James E. Samels. Merging Colleges for Mutual Growth: A New Strategy for Academic Managers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1994.

Massy, William, and Robert. Zemsky. "Information Technology and Academic Productivity." Educom Review (Jan-Feb 1996) 31.1:

McPherson, Michael S., Morton Owen Schapiro, and Gordon C. Winston. Paying the Piper: Productivity, Incentives, and Financing
in U.S. Higher Education
. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1993.

Organizational Paradigm Shifts.
Washington, DC: National Association of College and University Business Officers., 1996.

Penrod, James I. "Concepts for Reengineering Higher Education." CAUSE/EFFECT (Sum 1991) 14.2: 10-17.

Ruben, Brent D., Ed. Quality in Higher Education. New Brunswick, U.S.A.: Transaction Publishers, 1995.

"Shared Purposes." Special Issue: Policy Perspectives, the Higher Education Research Program co- sponsored by the American
Council on Education’s Kellogg Project on Leadership and Pew Charitable Trusts (April, 1996) 6.4: 1-11.

St. John, Edward P. Prices, Productivity, and Investment: Assessing Financial Strategies in Higher Education. ASHE-ERIC Higher
Education Reports. Washington D.C.: George Washington University, 1994.

Twigg, Carol A. "Superficial Thinking: The Productivity Paradox." Educom Review (Sep-Oct 1995) 30.5: 50-51.

Wilger, Andrea K. and William F. Massey "Prospects for Restructuring: A Sampling of the Faculty Climate."
Policy Perspectives the Higher Education Research Program
sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts. (Nov 1993) 5.2: Section B.

Zemsky, Robert. "A Calling to Account". Policy Perspectives, the Higher Education Research Program sponsored by the Pew
Charitable Trusts. (July,1995) 6.2

---, and William Massy. "Toward an Understanding of Our Current Predicaments."

Change (Nov-Dec 1995) 27.6: 40-49.

The Funding of Public Higher Education

A Chartbook of Trends Affecting Higher Education Finance
1960-1990. Westport, CT: Commonfund in cooperation with
Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges and
National Association of College and University Business Officers,

Eaton, Gertrude. "Statewide Planning During Declining State
Support." Planning for Higher Education (Sum 1995) 23.4: 27-34.

Fischer, Frederick J. "State Financing of Higher Education: A New
Look at an Old Problem." Change (Jan-Feb 1990) 22.1: 42-56.

Hauptman, Arthur M., The Economic Prospects for Higher
Education. Washington, DC: Association of Governing Boards of
Universities & Colleges & ACE Joint Report, 1992

Layzell, Daniel T., and Jan W. Lyddon. Budgeting for Higher
Education at the State Level: Enigma, Paradox, and Ritual.
ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report. Washington, D.C.: George
Washington University, 1990.

Marcus, Laurence. "A New Way for States to Fund Higher
Education." Planning for Higher Education (Win 1995) 23.2: 11-15.

McKeown, Mary P., and Daniel T. Layzell. "State Funding Formulas
for Higher Education: Trends and Issues." Journal of Education
Finance (Win 1994) 19.3: 319-46.

Ten Public Policy Issues for Higher Education in 1996. Association
of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges Public Policy Paper
Series. 96.1, 1996.

Williamson, J. Peter. Funds for the Future . Westport, CT:
Commonfund in cooperation with Association Of Governing Boards
of Universities & Colleges and National Association of College and
University Business Officers, 1993.

Tuition, Financial Aid, and Enrollments

Dixon, Rebecca R., Ed. Making Enrollment Management Work.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

Dunn, John A., Jr. "Long-Term Tuition Policy: What Happens When
Tuitions Rise Faster Than Ability to Pay?" Trusteeship (May-June
1993) 1.3: 6-10.

Hauptman, Arthur M. "Are Price Wars Coming to Private Higher
Education?" Trusteeship (Sep-Oct 1994) 2.5: 6-8.

---. The Tuition Dilemma: Assessing New Ways to Pay for College.
Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1990.

Hubbell, Loren W. Loomis, and Sean C. Rush. "A Double-Edged
Sword: Assessing the Impact of Tuition Discounting." NACUBO
Business Officer (Dec 1991) 25.6: 25-29.

Mumper, Michael. "The Problem of College Affordability: A Review of
Recent Literature on Potential Solutions." Journal of Student
Financial Aid (Spr 1993) 23.2: 27-35.

Olivas, Michael A., Ed. Prepaid College Tuition Plans: Promise and
Problems. New York: College Entrance Examination Board 1993.

Scannell, James J. The Effect of Financial Aid Policies on
Admission and Enrollment. New York: College Entrance
Examination Board, 1992.

St. John, Edward P., Ed. Rethinking Tuition and Student Aid
Strategies. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995.

Tuition Discounting: The Impact of Institutionally Funded Financial
Aid. Washington, DC: National Association of College and University
Business Officers, 1992.

Wallingford, Harlan P. "Marketing Strategies for a Low Endowment
Private University in the 1990's." Journal of Marketing for Higher
Education (1993) 4.1-2: 325-38.

Endowment Management and Growth

Anderson, Richard E. "The Advantages and Risks of
Entrepreneurship." Academe (Sep-Oct 1990) 76.5: 9-14.

Brenner, Mark. "Avoiding the Orange County Syndrome: Investment
Guidelines Are Crucial." NACUBO Business Officer (Jul 1995) 29.1:

Chan, Lionel. "The High Yield of Endowment Networks." Trusteeship
(Sep-Oct 1995) 3.5: 22-25.

Coiner, H. Michael. "How Large a Fraction of University Endowment
May Safely Be Spent?" Journal of Higher Education Management
(Fall 1992) 8.1: 57-67.

Demaree, Allan T. "The Four Billion Dollar Question." Princeton
Alumni Weekly (2-21-96) 11-13.

Dunn, John A., Jr. "How Colleges Should Handle Their Endowment."
Planning for Higher Education (Spr 1991) 19.3: 32-37.

Endowment: Perspectives, Policies, Management. Washington DC;
Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges, 1990.

Jennings, Edward H. "Endowment Policy: A Suggestion for Colleges
and Universities." Change (May-June 1992) 24.3: 32-41.

Katz, Louis H. and Myron Curzan. Integrating Endowments and
Budget Planning. Washington DC: Association of Governing Boards
of Universities & Colleges, 1996

"Management of Excess Funds: Is It Better Done Internally or
Externally?" NACUBO Business Officer (Sep 1991) 25.3: 58-59.

Merton, Robert C. "Optimal Investment Strategies for University
Endowment Funds." Studies in Supply and Demand in Higher
Education. Ed. Charles T. Clotfelter and Michael Rothchild. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Morrell, Louis R. "Setting an Endowment Spending Rate."
Trusteeship (Mar-Apr 1995) 3.2: 21-25.

Selected Policies for the Management of Long-Term Financial
Assets of Colleges and Universities. Washington DC: National
Association of College and University Business Officers, 1992

Wingard, Daniel A. The Growth of College Endowments. Westport,
CT: Commonfund in cooperation with Association of Governing
Boards of Universities & Colleges and National Association of
College and University Business Officers, 1993.

Risk Management

Association for Investment Management and Research. Risk
Management. Boston, MA. October 1995. Contributors: Peter L.
Bernstein, Marck C. Brickell, Christopher S. Campisano, Gary L.
Gastineau, Robert W. Kopprasch, Maarten Nederlof, Lisa K. Polsky,
A. Richard Susko.

Beder, Tanya Styblo. "VAR: Seductive but Dangerous." Financial
Analysts Journal. September/October 1995.

Beder, Tanya Styblo. "Ten Common Failures in Independent Risk
Oversight." Financial Derivatives and Risk Management. 4
(December 1995).

Bensman, Miriam. "How Pension Officers Tame Risk." Institutional
Investor. May 1995.

Carey, David. "Getting Risk's Number." Derivatives. February 1995.

Damsma, Marvin L., Jon Lukomnik, Maarten L. Nederlof, Thomas K.
Phillips. Alpha -- The Positive Side of Risk. Washington Depot, CT.

Drennan, Anne S. "Keys to Successful Risk Managment: Part 1."
Derivatives Quarterly. 1, 4 (Summer 1995). Part 2: 2, 2 (Winter
1995). Part 3: 2, 3 (Spring 1996).

Gastineau, Gary L., Mark Kritzman. Dictionary of Financial Risk
Management (Rev.). Bur Ridge, IL. October 1996.

Spinner, Karen. "Taking the Mystery Out of Unconfirmed Prices and
Mysterious Pricing Models." Plan Sponsor. June 1995.