Lectures: In Conclusion

Tell your students what you just told them

How best to wrap up a lecture? Hmmm.... In your introduction you told your students what you were going to tell them. In the lecture part of the lecture, you went ahead and told them exactly what you told them you were going to tell them. Now what? It’s time to tie things up.

The introduction provided context and the body provided manageable chunks of information. In your conclusion, make sure of one thing—that your students grasp the big picture. Here’s a suggestion from the Program for Instructional Innovation at the University of Oklahoma: Tell them again.

Summarize each chunk of information, tying each to the other so that the day’s lecture makes sense to your students. Give it a cognitive center all its own, a lecture students can comprehend and retain as stand-alone information.

Then expand your conclusion to place the day’s information in a broader context. Explain its significance relative to the larger picture, the overall course. This provides a convenient place to tie the day’s lecture to the previous and to the next, and to inform your students of what they are responsible for before the next class meets.


Knight, A.B., (n.d.). Lectures: Organizing them and making them interesting. In Ideas on teaching. Retrieved September 2, 2008, from www.ou.edu/pii/tips/ideas/lectures.html

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This Teaching Tip was adapted from material developed by the Program for Instructional Innovation at the University of Oklahoma.


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