Why Use Lecture Tutorials?

Initial Publication Date: February 17, 2009

Students Learn More

  • Research (on both the geology and astronomy Lecture Tutorials, see references) has shown that students who use Lecture Tutorials in the classroom retain more knowledge than students who listen to lecture on the same material.
  • Not all alternatives to lecture have been shown to increase student learning more than lecture alone; for example Libarkin and Anderson (2005) found no correlation between teaching style and students' conceptual understanding in geology.
  • Lecture Tutorials address different learning styles.

Students Enjoy Them

  • 99% of students surveyed (in geology) feel Lecture Tutorials were a useful part of their learning experience.
  • In response to the question, "Do you think the in-class exercises were a useful part of the class?", typical responses were:

"Yes, because it applied what we've just learned."

"Yes because you had to think, not just listen."

"Very much so. This is where I put everything together, and where it all made perfect sense to me. I might have not understood completely everything at first, but as I did the work it became clearer to me."

Lecture Tutorials Are Easy to Use

  • They can be used in any class type (large or small, no technology needed).
  • There are no dramatic changes needed for class (you just need to make some time).
  • Instructors who don't have the time or pedagogical background to develop their own materials can use Lecture Tutorials from the examples collection that are already developed and tested.

Just Lecturing Does Not Always Work

  • Lecture does not address diversity of learning styles.
  • Lecture does not allow student interaction with peers and instructor.
  • Lecture gives no feedback.
  • Lecture does not require students to spend energy thinking about the material.
  • Lectures that do not make sense to students allow them to resort to memorization.