iLecture.app helps engage with an audience during lectures, workshops, outreach events and other gatherings. This article presents the app prototype, its functionalities and applications.
Illustration: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Flickr.
What Makes a Good Lecture?
Well, it’s all about the lecturer. His personality, his teaching approach, and the environment in which learning takes place.
“You’re Professor Taylor, aren’t you? I was a student at York. I still remember your lectures [..] You were very good. You used to run around the stage and tell jokes [..] And you used to pretend that you couldn’t work the overhead projector. Even students who weren’t doing sociology would come along for the laughs.”
Another key attribute of effective lectures is interactivity.
The lack of interaction is considered one of the major limitations of ‘traditional lectures’, where students are expected to sit, listen and take notes, and the professor to give a formal, one-way, presentation.
Interactivity is needed in today’s classrooms to engage with the current generation of students, the so-called ‘digital natives’, for whom the physical and virtual worlds are, somehow, ‘blended’, as in Pokémon Go.
iLecture.app is an experimental project aimed at helping speakers and communication professionals develop and deliver interactive lectures and presentations. The project promotes a bidirectional flow of ideas and information to make lectures more interactive and more effective.
The app is ideal for workshops, training sessions, and communication events. Animators can use it to engage with their audience through live polls. Professors can develop discovery-based learning environments incorporating elements of game mechanics. Both would be able to increase the level of participants’ engagement and to achieve instructional and communication goals.
The app provides speakers with the ability to develop the lecture’s narrative and supporting elements, including readings, case studies, questions, surveys, challenges, simulations and ‘play sessions’.
Participants can use their (connected) devices to follow the lecture, read teaching materials, reply to different questions, take part in surveys, and run simulations.