Only 60% of students find their lectures boring?!

A guardian article says “almost 60% of students find at least half their lectures boring – with about 30% claiming to find most or all of their lectures boring.”

Would it look different at my university, my school, my lectures?

What gets blamed? Yes you’ve guessed it – the “use of PowerPoint”. However note the operative phrase: the “use of”. Powerpoint is not too blame, the people that makes the slides are.  Excuses are of course abound, but truthfully making really good presentations is time-consuming.  However, if the time was there, would lecturers/professors do any different?

The article further states that conventional lectures in theaters “rarely allows for the sort of interaction and active learning that more hands-on, practical sessions (such as lab work or tutorials) can facilitate.” But then comes with the disturbing observation: “surprisingly, lab work and computer sessions achieved the highest boredom ratings in our study.” The argument goes that these sessions are often just going through the motions – getting to an expected result. Maybe, just maybe, some discipline like Information Technology has an advantage here as programming practicals tend to not be “just going through the motions”, but is it clear enough for the students what value it adds? Can we provide enough support? Is there enough computers? Some real food for thought!

When I start thinking about it, maybe we are quite lucky that only 60% of students find their lectures boring!  What do you think?

PS. Pity those 30% did not have me as their lecturer 🙂


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