A Focus Group Study of Student Attitudes to Lectures

Australian Computer Society Inc.
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Eleventh Australasian Computing Education Conference, 2009, pp. 93 - 100
Issue Date:
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Abstract: This paper reports on the findings from focus groups, conducted at Macquarie University, on the attitudes of computing students to lectures. Students felt that two things were vital for a good lecture: (1) that the lecturer goes beyond what is written in the lecture notes; (2) that the lecture is interactive, by which students meant that the lecturer asks if students understand concepts and adjusts the delivery accordingly, and also the lecturer answers the studentsâ questions. The students in the focus groups also discussed what makes for a bad lectures: (1) lecturers reading straight from slides; (2) lecturers who âblame the studentsâ, by saying that students donât work hard enough and are too lazy to turn up to lectures; and (3) lecturers who cover the material too slowly or too quickly. The most prominent reason given for not attending lectures was the timetabling of lectures in such a way that students had too few classes in one day to make the sojourn to university worthwhile. Any university seeking to improve attendance at lectures should perhaps look as much to improving its timetabling practices as it does to improving the practices of its individual lecturers.
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