If teaching were the same as telling, we’d all be so smart we could hardly stand it. (Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Clemens; American author and humorist; 1835–1910.)
The 50-minute lecture is a traditional component of higher education. Students listen, take notes, perhaps ask a few questions—and sometimes don’t pay much attention. Spencer Kagan’s IAE Newsletter article, Tellin’ain’t teaching’: The need for frequent processing, discusses why lectures should be broken into relatively short segments interspersed with small group student interactions (September, 2012). His ideas are applicable at all levels of education. He explains why presentations should be broken into blocks no longer than 10 minutes in length, and suggests that these blocks should be interspersed with activities designed to give students time to process the information that they are receiving.