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What is a lecture? Lecture: definition and types

Lecture (the meaning of the word "read" in Latin) as a method of transmitting information from the mentor to the disciples arose back in those early days when philosophy was just beginning to emerge. In the middle of the first millennium in a number of developed countries (China, India, Hellas, European states) lectures were used for simultaneous training of a large number of people by one teacher.

Since the books in those days were extremely expensive and rare things, the lecturer's task became public reading or citing the works of scientists by heart.

Today almost every person knows what a lecture is, because the meaning and content of the method have not changed. Teachers of secondary and higher schools everywhere use its advantages, constantly improving and supplementing with their own methods.

What is a lecture: the meaning and application

Deepening into the meaning of the term, we can say that a lecture should be called such a way of presenting information that has a coherent logical structure, is built from a systemic point of view, and also reveals the subject in depth and clearly.

The main component of most of the curricula is a lecture. Its purpose is as follows:

  • Statement of the most important information on a given topic.
  • Assistance in mastering the fundamental problems of the course.
  • Simplification of the process of mastering the methods of scientific knowledge.
  • Popularization of the latest achievements of modern scientific thought.

Functions of lectures

Having studied the data proposed above, you can list the main functions of the lecture: methodological, organizational, information. Sometimes this method of learning becomes the only available, for example, if there are no textbooks and manuals. This often happens in educational institutions on the periphery and in the development of new educational programs.

In this case, the lecture is a means of revealing the conceptual apparatus of a particular area of science or knowledge, as well as its problems. It is able to give an integral idea of what is the essence of the subject, and to show how it is interconnected with other sciences. Lectures provide a basic basis for the use of other forms of training sessions, such as a seminar, laboratory and practical classes, course and diploma project, consultation, test, exam.


Without comprehensive and objective study it is impossible to compile a reliable idea of what a lecture is. Like any other teaching device, it has pros and cons. Let's consider the main advantages:

  1. The duties of the lecturer include planning and monitoring the course of the lesson. This means that the educational process has a clear system, and the slightest deviations from the planned plan can be quickly eliminated.
  2. Lecture is a great way to transmit information to a large number of people at one time. Thus, a fairly large audience is reached.
  3. The use of such a system makes it possible to significantly reduce the costs of an educational institution per student. This is due to the acceleration and simplification of the teaching process.

Disadvantages inherent in the lecture system of information delivery

Choosing lectures as a way of transferring fundamental knowledge to students, the administration of the institution should realize that it differs in some specific features.

In order for the learning process to be truly qualitative, the lecturer should have not only the necessary information and experience, but also the ability to teach. Many people can recall anecdotes popular in the student's environment about boring and long lectures. Needless to say, that the data dictated by a monotonous voice without intonations is practically not assimilated? This problem is effectively solved by the training of the teacher's oratorical skills.

Another feature lies in the very concept of what a lecture is: in fact it is a monologue. The maximum of communication between the lecturer and the student is to answer the questions asked by the students. However, as a rule, the initiative is rarely received from the listeners. As a result, one can observe the low involvement of students, lack of activity and a high level of assimilation of information.

Types of lectures: characteristics of the introductory lecture

Depending on the tasks, purpose and style of the conduct, several basic types of lectures are distinguished:

  • Introductory.
  • Informational.
  • Survey.
  • Problematic.
  • Visualization.
  • Binary.
  • Conference.
  • Consultation.

Introductory lectures are read to give a first idea of what constitutes a subject. Due to this, students can orient in the system of future work. The task of the lecturer is to familiarize students with the purpose and main objectives of the course. He tells about his role and place in the system of disciplines.

Students receive a summary of the future course, learn about the milestones in the development of science and practice, as well as which of the scientists achieved the most important achievements and when it was done. In addition, the introductory lecture suggests the presentation of promising directions in research.

Also the lecturer explains to students what the lecture, seminar and other organizational types of the educational process are. He specifies which literature they should use, when and in what form to submit reports.

Review, information and other lectures

Lecture-information is called such activities, the purpose of which is to inform students about any subject. The teacher broadly or in more detail sets forth and explains to the students scientific information that must be understood and remembered by them. Often in the process of holding such events, each student conducts a lecture summary, which briefly captures the most important moments of the speech. It should be noted that information lectures are classed as traditional.

The review lecture is designed to systematize scientific knowledge at a fairly high level. At the same time, its peculiarity is the presence of a large number of associative links involved in the comprehension of information. Usually review lectures do not provide for concretization and detail, they are designed to disclose intrasubject and intersubject communications.

The events on which the lecturer uses visual means of material transfer are called visual lectures or video lectures. The teacher's task is to timely comment on the videos, photos or slides shown. Such a way of submitting the educational material is used in the practice of many educational institutions providing humanitarian or technical education.

Binary - an interesting type of lecture, in which instead of monologue students are offered a dialogue between two teachers. As a rule, each of them represents a separate scientific school or defends a specific view of the subject under consideration.

Lecture-conference: what is it and what is different from other types

When the event takes the form of a scientific and practical lesson, that is, there is a pre-set problem and a system of reports, it is called a lecture-conference. The speeches that make up this lecture have a strict logical structure (introduction, main part, conclusion). They are prepared in advance on the basis of assignments provided by the teacher. The result of all speeches is the comprehensive coverage of the problem. The role of the lecturer is reduced to the formulation of the conclusion and summarizing the self-prepared texts. In addition, he supplements and clarifies the information presented.

Specificity of the lecture-consultation

There are several scenarios for this type of lecture:

  1. In the first case, the structure of the event fits into the "question-answer" scheme. The teacher during the entire period of time allocated for the lesson, gives answers to students' questions (concerning a specific section or the entire course).
  2. The second option can be schematically depicted as a "question-answer / discussion". This is a unique combination of three elements: the lecturer presents new material, raises a number of questions and organizes a discussion to find answers. However, one should not confuse this type of information with others, since there are significant differences between the lecture and the seminar.

Structure and sections of the classical lecture

Usually a lecturer's speech consists of several parts: introduction, main content and conclusion.

The introduction is intended to establish the connection of this topic with what has already been studied. Here, the goals and objectives of the speech are voiced, as well as its plan. Sometimes this section indicates the list of sources used in the preparation, but more often it is left for conclusion. The introduction takes no more than 5-8 minutes.

The second part (the main content) is the most important and informative stage of the lecture. Here the teacher reflects the key ideas and theory of the issue, sets out different points of view, provides value judgments.

The final part of each lecture is allotted for generalization and conclusions on the information provided. Then the future lecture material can be presented, and the direction for independent work of the students is determined.

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