The practice in the medieval university was for the instructor to read from an original source to a class of students who took notes on the lecture. The reading from original sources evolved into the reading of glosses on an original and then more generally to lecture notes. Throughout much of history, the diffusion of knowledge via handwritten lecture notes was an essential element of academic life.
Even in the twentieth century the lecture notes taken by students, or prepared by a scholar for a lecture, have sometimes achieved wide circulation (see, for example, the genesis of Ferdinand de Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale). Many lecturers were, and still are, accustomed to simply reading their own notes from the lectern for exactly that purpose. Nevertheless, modern lectures generally incorporate additional activities, e.g. writing on a chalk-board, exercises, class questions and discussions, or student presentations.
The use of multimedia presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint has changed the form of lectures, e.g. video, graphics, websites, or prepared exercises may be included. Most commonly, however, only outlines composed of "bullet points" are presented. Critics such as Edward Tufte contend that this style of lecture bombards the audience with unnecessary and possibly distracting or confusing graphics.
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Famous quotes containing the word history:
“History ... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
But what experience and history teach is thisthat peoples and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“A man acquainted with history may, in some respect, be said to have lived from the beginning of the world, and to have been making continual additions to his stock of knowledge in every century.”
—David Hume (17111776)
“Look through the whole history of countries professing the Romish religion, and you will uniformly find the leaven of this besetting and accursed principle of actionthat the end will sanction any means.”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834)