The Organization Of College Lectures In Selected Introductory Level Courses

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Reading and Learning Disabilities


A content analysis of 46 introductory college lectures in social sciences and humanities areas was conducted to describe the organizational structure used by lecturers to present information. Meyer's (1979) classification system for analyzing written text was adapted for the study to discover whether lecture material can be analyzed in the same way as textual information.Two training manuals were constructed. One manual was used to train scorers to identify the major topics of the lecture and to identify selected presentation techniques. The second manual was used to train scorers to identify lecture organizational patterns of the major topics.The inter-scorer agreement for the three scorers was 1.0, .94, and .94. The results of the study indicated that the lectures were organized with main lecture organizational patterns of Topic-List, Time-Order, Compare-Contrast, Cause-Effect, Problem-Solution and combinations of the patterns. Four lectures were unidentifiable. The result of a Chi Square statistic was non-significant indicating the presentation techniques were not associated with the lecture patterns. These findings provide some insight into the way some college lecturers organize and present content material in introductory lecture classes and they should be viewed as the initial step toward establishing a base on which to develop empirically supported notetaking strategies. Recommendations and suggestions for future research are given.


Education, Reading

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