This is a question that universities have increasingly

been asking of themselves, in part and in large,

because as class sizes increase,

and the numbers of our students as well as their diversity,

ability, and background increase,

these kind of questions become more important to us.

Most of the answers that we've arrived at

through the various sort of centers and workshops

that support teaching university students

throughout America, most of the answers

have to do with forum, with how to improve the forum

of the lecture so pacing or articulation

or clarity or how to provide better technical support,

that sort of thing.

And that's probably out of necessity.

These centers have to support teaching and teachers

from a range of disciplines across the university,

so they need to be able to provide some answers

and some help to a professor of physics

or a professor of English,

and therefore they don't get involved on the content

and the state of the forum.

But for myself, at least I have found that by far

the main factor that goes into making a lecture good or bad

is the content.

If a lecture doesn't work,

any teaching situation doesn't work,

it's because I haven't given either enough thought

to the subject or more often

because I'm usually teaching in my field

to how best to make that subject clear and compelling

to my audience.

Discussions are different.

Classroom discussions are different.

A classroom discussion you work together towards the truth

or something like it, the best you could do on that day.

But on a lecture, you've got to have something to say

and you better had thought about it for a very long time,

and thought about how to make it clear and compelling

to an audience that has not necessarily considered

this subject for as long as you have.

Everything else is just, well,

it's like staging in real estate.

It drive some numbers up, but it's not what matters

or so I think.

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