Nine Alternatives to Lecturing

Have you been asking yourself how to integrate activities into a lecture-based course to encourage the students to engage with the subject material, to facilitate interaction, or to change things up a bit?

Integrating more critical and creative thinking is one approach to take, and another is to focus more on the application of knowledge.

Nine alternatives to standard lectures are listed below and described in detail on a tip sheet provided by the University of Waterloo. This link provides a number of relatively structured activities, along with their time requirements, special features, implementation procedures, and function in the course. The activities are:
  1. Questions
  2. Pro and con grid
  3. Debate
  4. Guided analysis
  5. Case study
  6. Field trip
  7. Role play
  8. One-minute paper
  9. Ungraded quiz
For brief descriptions of a number of easy-to-implement ideas beyond what is described on this sheet, see the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) teaching tip sheets on “Active Learning Activities” and “Activities for Large Classes.”

 Classrooms for College levels, English for Academic Purposes, or English for Specific Purposes do not have to follow the traditional pattern of teaching and presentation methods. Motivation and engagement no longer have to be a teacher’s struggle.

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