Lectures and Lecturing

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One Minute Paper


It’s very hard to judge the effectiveness of a lecture with a large group. However, the ‘One Minute Paper’ can be a good way to get feedback. It involves giving the students one minute at the end of the lecture to write down the answer to a specific question you set, and then collecting in the anonymous responses. Even with a large group, it doesn’t take too long to flip through a pile of very short answers to ‘take the temperature’. You can vary the questions you ask them to answer from week to week but they might be something like asking them to:

  1. Write down what you consider to have been the main purpose of this session
  2. Write down a question you would now like to ask me OR a comment you would like to make about the session
  3. Write down at what point in the lecture they got lost (often called ‘the Muddiest Point’)
  4. Write down something they didn’t understand at all
  5. Answer a simple question (if possible) on the subject matter
  6. Draw the relationship between topics covered at different points in the lecture.

Always take 5-10 minutes to refer back to these papers at the beginning of the next session, and to go over any problem areas before you move on to the next topic.

Useful Links

One minute papers, Stephen W. Draper, Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow.

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