The Importance of Lectures and How Students Value and Perceive Lectures

Topics: Learning, Scientific method, Educational psychology Pages: 27 (9051 words) Published: May 16, 2013
The importance of lectures and how students value and perceive lectures

Umeå University, Research Methodology on Business Administration Group 9

Research background3
Research topic4
Choice of subject4
Research purpose4
Theoretical framework6
Learning Orientations and Theories6
Previous research7
Theory Conclusion9
Criticism of sources10
Epistemology and Ontology11
Research Strategy12
Preconceptions and values12
Research design13
Collection of data13
Analyzing of data14
Truth criteria14
Ethical considerations15
Reference list23

Research background
The articles we have found online have been conducted in other countries where the student- and/or teacher mentality might differ from their Swedish counterparts. Most of the previous research in this area tends to be focused on how lectures are not an effective tool for student learning (Buckles & McMahon, 1971, p. 141) or focusing on the fact that students are not attending lectures (Massingham & Herrington, 2006, p. 84). The difference between their studies and ours is that our research will focus more on what students actually gain, in terms of knowledge, from lectures and how they perceive the value in attending them. This is because it is more or less a proven fact that you do not gain a lot of knowledge from attending lectures (Buckles & McMahon, 1971, p. 141), (Dunn. 2002), (Smith. 2003, 1999b) and a lot of students do not attend them (Massingham & Herrington, 2006, p. 84).

The change in technology has also changed the way teachers teach and students learn. Years ago, students had to attend lectures in order to obtain important notes and not missing out on important information. Some students may feel that none of this is necessary nowadays they can obtain most of the material presented during lectures as they are always posted online, and certain universities offer their students audio recordings of lectures (Massingham, Herrington, 2006, p. 85). A problem can arise when teachers see their lectures as their primary education tool, they tend to view lecture slides and exercises as supplements to those lectures, whereas students tend to believe those supplements can be substitutes for attending the actual lectures. This brings students to question whether or not it is worthwhile going to campus at all. We believe students are not always aware of what they are missing out on when they skip lectures, which is an interesting aspect that we are trying to capture when asking what benefits students perceive they gain from lecture attendance.

Courses at university level tend to focus on lectures as its primary teaching technique, this is in contrast with theories such as Sensory stimulation and Cognitive orientation that shows that lectures are one of the more ineffective teaching forms (Dunn. 2002), (Smith. 1999b). What then, is the reason for the central position lectures and lecture attendance has in university education? Our research aim is to find out what students can hope to gain by attending lectures and how they perceive those benefits and if attending lectures are important for student learning.

It has to be acknowledged that there is a difference in teaching styles today compared to thirty years ago, what have changed dramatically is that education has changed from something being valuable in its own right to merely a means to an end. Herrington and Massingham has found that students today are no longer applying to courses in the thirst for knowledge but rather as an uninteresting way to gain a proper qualification and then a good job. (Massingham, Herrington, 2006, p. 84). In recent times teaching styles has changed from a constructivist approach, that teachers facilitate and guide the process and students create their own meaning of...
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