Does Lecture Format Matter? Exploring Student Preferences in Higher Education




lectures, learning preferences, digital pedagogy, participation, interactive learning


This article offers an important contribution to understanding students’ perceptions of lectures based on different formats of lecture delivery. The growth in the use of blended, flipped, synchronous and asynchronous learning for lecture delivery raises questions as to whether students prefer these innovative modes of delivery over the traditional face-to-face lectures. Furthermore, the contemporary debates over recording lectures and whether this impacts on student attendance requires further exploration by comparing recorded face-to-face lectures with other methods of lecturing. This article draws on data that explored students’ preferences for lectures by comparing students’ experiences on three different types of lectures. The main findings demonstrate that there is no one preferred method of lectures, with student feedback reporting positive experiences with all three. However, the strengths and limitations of each mode of delivery are provided by the students which indicate that flexibility, interaction and choice enhance participation in lectures. The data indicates that student attendance is only slightly affected by lecture recordings and that other factors need to be considered if lecturers are concerned about attendance. This paper suggests that courses ought to offer a range of different lectures to meet the needs of varied populations of learners and that ensuring the delivery is student-focused will empower students and increase their participation.

Author Biographies

Suzanne Young, Dr, University of Leeds

Dr Suzanne Young is a lecturer in Criminal Justice and programme leader for the BA Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Leeds

Helen Young, Dr, University of Lincoln

Dr Helen Nichols is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Programme Leader at the University of Lincoln.

Ashley Cartwright, Dr, Leeds Beckett University

Dr Ashley Cartwright is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Beckett University.


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Original Research