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Faculty Resources for Online Teaching


Lecturing is defined in literature "as one person speaking, more or less continuously, to a group of people on a particular subject or theme."

An e-lecture is a media based lecture that may include audio or video recording, synchronized slides, table of contents and optional complementary information. E-lectures are lectures that are not face-to-face but rather mediated using some combination of hardware and software.

Trenholm, Alcock, and Robinson (2012) made comparisons of face-to-face lectures versus e-lectures in their review of the literature. The following is what they found.

Students who both attended and watched lectures online, and those who pause online lectures frequently, actually performed worse in the course. (Joordens et al., 2009)

Inglis et al. (2011) supported the claim and found that those who made heavy use of e-lectures performed significantly worse.

Other studies have found no impact.


Students with surface learning strategies tended to be those who used the pause feature more often and argued that this feature of e-lectures was enabling them to memorize and not understand the material (Le et al., 2010).

Web delivery increases the cognitive demand of students (Macedo-Rouet et al., 2009)


Efficiency is gained by lecturers through automation of administrative routine, provision of problem solutions, ability to pre-record material to cover for absences, and the ability to track student progress (Cascaval et al., 2008).

Students experience an increase in flexibility and convenience (Le et al., 2010).


Increase investment of time and money in course preparation (Chow, 2011), reliability of technology (Macedo-Rouet et al., 2009), and perceived threat of job security (Mullamphy et al., 2009).

Lecturers lose the ability to communicate their enthusiasm and thus motivate students (Cretchley, 2005).

Students lose the sense of community (Cretchley, 2005) and immediacy in feedback (Mullamphy et al., 2009).

It creates a one-way transmissive delivery of material. It becomes a major concern for professors who believes that the primary purpose of the mathematics lecture is to seed student learning, demonstrating the values and practices of the subject (Pritchard, 2010). For example, body language and cues, communicating tacit knowledge, 'spiritual' experience, motivating students, and building a community of mathematics.

Promotes rote memorization when conceptual understandings of mathematics are required (Le et al., 2010).

Recommendations (Trenholm, Alcock, Robinson, 2012):

Students require instruction on how to use e-lectures effectively.

There needs to consideration of a more flexible system of interaction with material and tutors, rather than simply recording lectures.




Cascaval, R., Fogler, K., Abrams, G., and Durham, R. (2008). Evaluating the benefits of providing archived online lectures to in-class students enrolled in math courses, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks .12(3–4), 61–70.

Chow, O.P. (2011). Math podcasting to go – Design, purpose, format, delivery. Proceedings of American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges Conference, Washington, DC. 

Cretchley, P. (2005). Mathematics and dumping lectures?: Another perspective on the shift towards learner pragmatism. Proceedings of the Fifth Southern Hemisphere Conference on Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Teaching and Learning, Queensland, Australia, 42–48.

Inglis, M., Palipana, A., Trenholm, S., and Ward, J. (2011) Individual differences in students’ use of optional learning resources, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(6), 490–502.

Joordens, S., Le, A., Grinnell, R. and Chrysostomou, S. (2009). Eating your lectures and having them too: Is online lecture availability especially helpful in ‘‘Skills-based’’ courses? Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 7(3), 281–288.

Le, A., Joordens, S., Chrysostomou, S., and Grinnell, R. (2010). Online lecture accessibility and its influence on performance in skills-based courses, Journal of Computer Education, 55, 313–319.

Macedo-Rouet, M., Ney, M., Charles, S., and Lallich-Boidin, G. (2009). Students’ performance and satisfaction with web vs. paper-based practice quizzes and lecture notes, Journal of Computer Education, 53(2), 375–384.

Mullamphy, P., Belward, S., Ward, L., and Ward, P. (2009). To screencast or not to screencast, Australia and New Zealand Industrail and Applied Mathematics Journal, 51, C446–C460.

Pritchard, D. (2010). Where learning starts? A framework for thinking about lectures in university mathematics, International Journal of Mathematics Education in Science and Technology, 41(5), 609–623.

Trenholm, S., Alcock, L., & Robinson, C. L. (2012). Mathematics lecturing in the digital age. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 43(6), 703–716.

Teaching Math Online by Matthew Cheung. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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