webinar: Key Principles on how best University lecturers conduct their classes

Tuesday, 19th January 2020

Prof. Wycliffe Njororai; University of Texas presented a talk on Key principles on how best University lecturers conduct their classes at a webinar organized and convened by the Department of Physical Education and Sport.

Prof. Njororai’s presentation mainly focused on 7 key principles of conducting classes (Bain 2004). Technology has transformed the way teachers and learners interact and exchange knowledge. The changes have brought forth issues that must be addressed for effective teaching and learning.

Prof. Njororai introduced the topic of the day by reviewing how lecturers have always conducted their classes. He invited participants to reflect on key issues that affect higher education learning; the lectures were asked to think about the best techniques to enhance students learning, how best they can conduct their classes, and also if ‘teaching by telling’ is an effective way of teaching. Prof. Njororai further challenged the participating students to critically think about their experiences during lectures; students were asked to reflect on what they remember from the classes, who their favorite lecturers were, and what was most memorable about them. Prof Njororai posed a question to the students; are Lectures useless? Can students learn from lectures?

Prof. Njororai further stated that the success in teaching and learning is dependent on underlying key principles and techniques and the importance of lectures to master the following 7 principles (Bain 2004)

  1.  1st Principle: How people learn- People learn best when they are trying to solve problems that are intriguing and important.
  2. 2nd Principle: Get students' attention and keep it. Consciously try to get students' attention with provocative questions.
  3. 3rd Principle: Start with the students rather than the discipline, make a deliberate effort to engage students in interesting matters.
  4. 4th Principle: Seek commitment, exceptional lecturers ask students to commit fully to the class and learning
  5. 5th Principle: Help students learn outside of class, introduce activities outside of class to help students build community and strengthen relationships.
  6. 6th Principle: Engage students in disciplinary thinking, help students understand, apply, analyze and evaluate data.
  7. 7th Principle: Create diverse learning experiences. Great teachers use multiple ways to engage students. 

The speaker concluded his presentation by stating that great teachers/lecturers are trained and not born. Lecturers need to be trained regularly to keep up with the constantly changing teaching and learning environment.

After the presentation, Dr. Simon Munayi; the convenor of the webinar invited Prof. Samson Gunga, Dean; School of Education and Prof. Justus Inyega, Director-Centre for Pedagogy and Andragogy (CEPA). The Dean thanked the speaker saying “we are trained teachers, we go beyond what we teach in class and we mentor our students so that they can mentor others in future. Prof. Inyega also spoke about the importance of training lecturers in higher education and he called upon lecturers to impart their students with 21st-century skills that will be useful to them as they join the world of work.

The webinar was attended by staff and students of the University of Nairobi, friends of the Department of Physical Education and Sport and Alumni.