Students Don’t Come To Lecture - Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

Step 2: Identify Reasons

Identify possible reasons for the problem you have selected.
To find the most effective strategies, select the reason that best describes your situation, keeping in mind there may be multiple relevant reasons.

Students don’t come to lecture.

Students feel anonymous given the size of the class and do not believe that their presence matters.

The time of day is not appealing to students (e.g., early morning, late afternoon).

You put your PowerPoint slides on Blackboard, and so students assume that those notes are enough information for them to master the subject/topic.

Students assume they can copy notes from a peer and master the subject.

Students are bored because they are not innately interested in the content and they don’t see the relevance to their academic and/or professional goals.

Students are bored because they are not actively engaged in the lecture, which requires fifty minutes of focused attention.

The lecture reiterates what is in the textbook, and since many students learn more effectively from reading than listening because they can read at their own pace, re-read if confused, etc., they opt to do that rather than attend lecture.

Students have difficulty discerning the goals and/or organization of the lecture.

Students are feeling overwhelmed by other academic and/or non-academic demands.

Students whose first language is not English (who are not just international students) are having difficulty following the lecture.

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learning principles

  1. Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning. MORE>
  2. How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know. MORE>
  3. Students’ motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn. MORE>
  4. To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply what they have learned. MORE>
  5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students’ learning. MORE>
  6. Students’ current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning. MORE>
  7. To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning. MORE>