Conferences Are Providing Inferior Education Through Lectures


Conferences are providing inferior education if all they provide is didactic, presenter monologue lectures. Yes, that’s right. The speaker lecture is ineffective and inferior! If all your attendees do is sit and listen passively to speakers, you’re providing bad conference education! At least that’s what 2001 Physics Nobel Prize recipient, Stanford professor and former director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Carl Weiman says regarding lectures. … [Read more...]

These Conference Presentation Myths Cramp The Attendee Experience


Most conference organizers see attendees as consumers of the conference’s information. Little thought is given to seeing attendees as active participants in their own learning and experience. 8 Myths That Restrict The Attendee Experience Here are eight conference presentation myths that you should avoid. Myth 1: The lecture or panel best serves all conference attendees. Reality: The lecture and panel are homogenized conference presentations that cause our brains to check out. The … [Read more...]

21st Century Revolutionary Conferences Have Transformed The Traditional Education Session


Conferences that focus primarily on lecture-based methods are becoming increasingly difficult to defend! There is ample evidence that the lecture creates phony learning, along with the inability to retain and apply what has been heard. Packed conference sessions and smile-sheet summary evaluations only indicate that attendees can successfully sit through dreary lectures. It does not demonstrate value or stimulate growth in organizations. Neglecting Evidence Based Education Is … [Read more...]

Five Myths Of Interactive, Participatory Learning For STEM Conferences

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It’s one of the most common excuses I hear from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics/Medical) conference organizers today… “As ______________ (insert appropriate STEM word) attendees, they won’t participate in interactive sessions or discussions. They don’t want to be actively involved. They don’t like to talk. They came to hear from an expert. We can’t leave them to their own learning.” In short, these conference organizers and their teams are convinced that they can … [Read more...]

Adding Active Learning Strategies To Passive Video Watching To Increase Effectiveness

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Watching online video has gone from being a niche activity to mainstream. The implications of online video growth are huge for brands, organizations as well as learning. Yet watching a video is a passive experience. And often our minds jump to couch potato mode, conditioned by watching years of TV in passive mindsets. Tips To Increase Video Learning Effectiveness Here are several tips to help increase learning in a primarily passive experience—video watching. 1. Keep The Videos … [Read more...]

Q&A Will Not Satisfy Conference Audience Cravings For Participation

Mary: Impressive presentation, John, but I'm a little concerned that there's no audience participation. John: No problem, we'll open the floor to Q&A at the end. Mary: Okay, but there's still 45 minutes of one-way lecturing going on. John: Good point. Let's add another Q&A segment midway through the presentation. We interrupt this blog post with an important news bulletin: This just in... after months of hearings, the National Bureau of Stop Boring People has established new standards … [Read more...]

Cheat Sheet: Using Group Talk As Discussions For Conference Education

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The evidence is loud and clear that peer discussions are more effective than lectures if memory and knowledge retention, attitude, behavior and skill change, and learning are the goals. Just dividing a traditional lecture into 10 minute chunks and then giving the audience two to ten-minute breaks for time for discussion increases learning. How Discussions And Democracy Are Intertwined Using discussions as a learning method is a valuable and exciting way for revealing diverse … [Read more...]

Five Ways To Combine Conference Lectures With More Effective Education

In principle, there are many education methods that could replace conference lectures. The research is loud and clear that the majority of these education methods are more effective than the conference lecture. Yet, the conference lecture dominates the most conference education. Yes, the lecture has a place. Unfortunately, conference organizers give it too much prominence. To paraphrase Professor Donald Bligh, the heavy reliance placed upon conference lectures and its frequent use as an … [Read more...]