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ERIC Number: EJ1132073
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0363-4523
Forum: The Lecture and Student Learning. The Lecture's Absent Audience
Sciullo, Nick J.
Communication Education, v66 n2 p237-239 2017
According to the "Oxford English Dictionary" ("OED"), the noun "lecture" dates from the 14th century and means the "action of reading, perusal. Also, that which is read or perused." This definition, while accurate and resonates today in many college classrooms, ignores a key feature of any lecture. The "OED" definition of lecture ignores the audience. To and for whom does the reader read? It seems quite telling that the audience do not figure into the definition. For instructors, this positions the act of lecturing as detached from the recipient of the lecture. Scholars have used the term "absent audience" to denote the audience for which we write or prepare a text. The author of this brief forum article intends for "absent audience" to indicate that audience which is physically present yet ignored by the rhetor. The lecture is a rhetorical form that, as commonly understood, ignores the audience, whoever it might be, and no matter the audience's differences. Ignoring the audience has a more pernicious effect because it tends toward assuming an audience's commonality instead of recognizing its differences. This leads not only to pedagogical failures, but also to an adverse learning environment that may leave students feeling insecure, unsafe, and threatened. In order to serve students best, educators must approach teaching in a way that enables participation and makes students feel welcome. That is difficult to do if students are a lecture's absent audience. [Other articles in this forum include: The Lost Art of Lecturing: Cultivating Student Listening and Notetaking (EJ1132054); Lecture and Active Learning as a Dialectical Tension (EJ1132004); What Is the Place of Lecture in Student Learning Today? (EJ1132078); Sage on the Stage or Bore at the Board? (EJ1132063); Sound Decision Making about the Lecture's Role in the College Classroom (EJ1132068); Rethinking Lecture-Learning from Communicative Lenses: A Response to Forum Essays (EJ1132088); and The Lecture and the Learning Paradigm (EJ1132080).]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A