I must admit – I didn’t immediately LOVE facilitating a learning and teaching (podcast) discussion club.

My team started this initiative while I was on maternity leave, and somehow, it was up to me (a sleep deprived and spaced-out person) to facilitate it.

Once I was over my fear of the unknown, running this club became one of my favourite things to do, especially recently when the participants started nominating discussion topics.  

What is the podcast discussion club?

In a nutshell, people get together once a month via Zoom and talk about a learning and teaching podcast. No preparation is required as we play snippets in the session.  

Last month one of the regular group attendees suggested a topic of ‘lecturing’, so off I went to look for a good podcast to discuss.

I was in luck. I quickly found an interview with Dr. Christine Harrington, an author of a book ‘Dynamic Lecturing’ where she discussed whether lecturing works (short answer: yes as long as it’s dynamic AND aimed at lower-level students. The higher your foundational knowledge is, the less you’d get out of a lecture) and provided an example of what her own lecture looks like.

I LOVE practical examples, and I thought I’d share it with you (see a 4-minute video below). As you listen to her or read the transcript under the video, note how much of her lecture is dedicated to activities. These activities prepare students for learning, help them absorb and apply new knowledge and primes them for next session, etc.


The full podcast episode

Christine’s lecture is very much in line with research findings on effective lecturing. For example, one study found that effective lectures contain around 66% of activities (see the full study).

Not all activities are equal. Sometimes, they are humble and low-stakes and aim to bring students back from mind-wandering, like asking them an easy question or sharing something fun. Other times, however, they are ‘heftier’ and help you identify student confusion or orchestrate conditions for deep learning (see a summary below).

Inspired, I prepared a practical guide on how to implement different activities with or without MQ-supported technologies.

And, if you’d like to come along to the podcast discussion club, please do. We love having new people. You can sign up by filling in the form below. Our next Podcast Discussion Club is on Wednesday 2nd November from 12 noon – 1pm.

Posted by Olga Kozar

I'm a 'long-term' Mq girl. I did my PhD here and taught on different courses, ranging from 1st year to PhD students. I now work in Learning and Teaching, which I love. I have 2 young kids and a dog, and I love meeting other Mq people, so give me a shout if you'd like to talk 'learning and teaching' or would like to brainstorm together.

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