Getting “lectured” is rarely, if ever, a pleasant experience. You’re being told what to do and think, or even chastised. Don’t lecture me, we like to say. Having to “attend” a lecture, though—that’s not so bad, depending on the speaker. Hell, on the go, I listen to lectures willingly. Check out “A Master List of 1,300 Free Courses From Top Universities: 45,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures,” from Open Culture. It’s a treasure trove.
Yet the efficacy of the lecture, as a teaching method, is in doubt. The latest salvo comes from a study published in Science last month, authored by just under 30 researchers who, a decade ago, began monitoring almost 550 lecturers as they taught over 700 courses at 25 universities in Canada and the United States. The task of gathering and analyzing all the study’s data is unenviable, involving sitting in on classes and then rewatching them on tape.