This paper reports on the findings from focus groups conducted at Texila
American University on the attitudes of its medical students towards morning 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
adjust the delivery accordingly, and the lecturer answers the students’ questions.
The students in the focus groups also discussed what makes for a bad lecture: (1)
lecturers reading straight from slides; (2) lecturers who ‘blame the students’ by
saying that students don’t 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 and relating to feelings of tiredness each afternoon. Any university
seeking to improve attendance at lectures should perhaps look as much to improving
its timetabling practices as it does to improve the practices of its individual
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