Every teacher knows what a lecture plan is meant to achieve. But if you want to know how to organize a lecture that makes the most of in-class time, yet still focus on your learning outcomes, try our brand new (and totally free) lecture planning tool.

This is the first of a set of four teaching resources we’re making available to all instructors, either using Top Hat in class or not. As well as a lecture plan, our Top Hat tool kit will include a course storyboard, a one-pager on how to create measurable goals and a chart that will let you determine the best types of assessment activities for your particular class. Taken together, these will be powerful teaching tools that will help you place student activity at the center of your course planning.

After you’ve downloaded the plan, there are three fields that we think merit particular attention:

  1. Learning outcome

  2. This is the driving force behind your lesson—which is why it’s one of the larger fields. The objective should be personalized and customized to your course, in addition to being relevant to your ongoing assessment. Making it a ‘SMART’ goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) is a sensible idea. Because this is so important, we’ll be giving more focus and detail to this in our forthcoming resource, the source storyboard.

  3. Input from you

  4. This is where you clarify what you, as a teacher, bring to the lesson. Again, with a focus on the students, this is where you would document class activities based around the learning objectives, and what case studies or examples your students can practice.

  5. Assessment

How will you assess student work, knowledge and mastery of the subject? While considering formative and summative assessment, in an ever-evolving student population it’s also worth thinking about other methods such as self-assessment—or one of several techniques listed for consideration here. Again, we’ll be focusing on assessment in a future tool.

Of course, any educational tool can only go so far—as an instructor, you bring the creativity, focus and discipline to your class. But by putting the action of your students at the core of your plan, then, as John Dewey said, “the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”

Practice how to organize a lecture now — click here to check out the entire toolset and download the lecture plan as a PDF.


Quin Parker

Quin Parker

Quin Parker is a Toronto-based digital editor and writer, and is Content Marketing Manager at Top Hat.