Criteria of Effective Lectures

1. Organization

The teacher states the learning outcomes and the presentation follows a clear logic, including transitions between chronologically adjacent topics. The teacher also summarizes the main ideas, and the presentation includes techniques, such as presenting an outline to the audience, to show the connections and relationships between different ideas being presented.

2. Language

The teacher’s vocabulary is appropriate for the audience, reflecting a sensitivity to students’ prior knowledge.

3. Strategy

The teacher uses a variety of teaching strategies to achieve the learning outcomes. The amount of content and depth of that content are appropriate for the students’ prior knowledge and to reach the learning outcomes.

4. Diversity

The teacher defines new terms and uses examples from multiple perspectives to be inclusive of different theoretical perspectives and diverse cultural backgrounds.

5. Audiovisuals

The teacher uses audiovisual aids to complement, rather than replace, the material being presented. The teacher faces the audience, referring to the audiovisual aids only to illustrate or highlight the point being made.

6. Time Management

The presentation maintains a consistent pace from beginning to end, and is paced so that the audience has sufficient time to process new information and integrate it with their prior knowledge. The presentation concludes within the allotted time and leaves room for questions or discussion.

7. Active Inquiry

The teacher uses questions to assess student knowledge and advance understanding of the material. The teacher takes time to answer challenging questions, and respectfully acknowledges questions to which he/she does not have an answer.

8. Delivery

The teacher uses tone, pitch, and volume to engage the audience, with few audible pauses (e.g., “uh,” “um”). The teacher’s movement reflects deliberate effort to actively engage the audience.


The Study Group Inc. (2007). Assessing GK-12 graduate teaching fellows' presentation skills, Version 2.0.