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Teaching Excellence Program

Interactive Lectures and Class Activities

Date: 11:30am - 12:30pm PST November 5, 2019 Location: J.R. Howard Hall 302

J.R. Howard Hall 302

Engaging students in course material through active learning is a widely accepted approach to improving educational outcomes. However, a recent study out of Harvard University suggests that students believe they learn more from traditional lectures, even though they actually learn more in classrooms that utilize active-learning strategies. As described by the study’s lead author, “Deep learning is hard work. The effort involved in active learning can be misinterpreted as a sign of poor learning. On the other hand, a superstar lecturer can explain things in such a way as to make students feel like they are learning more than they actually are.” This highlights the importance not only of utilizing interactive lecture styles but also of letting students know why we are asking them to engage in active learning. 

To jump-start your thinking about the various approaches to interactive lectures, take a look at Carleton College’s Pedagogy In Action resource guide and the Chronicle of Higher Education’s advice guide, How To Make Your Teaching More Engaging.

Here are some questions to consider in advance of next Tuesday’s lunch: 

-What do you do to help engage students in your teaching?

-To what extent do you utilize an interactive lecture style in your classes?

-Do your students seem to prefer traditional lectures or more active learning approaches?

-What types of class activities have worked best for you? When have they backfired? 

All TEP Pedagogy Lunches last about an hour and meet in the conference room in JR Howard Hall 302 (unless stated otherwise). Topics and suggested readings are posted 1-2 weeks before each meeting.  You are welcome to bring your own lunch. Coffee, tea, and cookies are provided.  

Although an RSVP is not required, a rough headcount would be helpful. If you plan to attend the TEP lunch, please RSVP below or email

Registration for this event is now closed.