Considerate Lecturer/alx

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Considerate Lecturer
Contributors Christian Köppe, Michel Portier, René Bakker, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers, Ralph Niels
Last modification June 6, 2017
Source Köppe, Portier, Bakker, & Hoppenbrouwers (in press 2015)[1]; Köppe et al. (2016)[2]
Pattern formats OPR Alexandrian
Learning domain

You are teaching a subject using lectures and have defined the Learning Outcomes (Learning Outcomes) you want the students to achieve.


You can’t be sure what the students really have understood well and therefore it’s often not clear until the end if the learning objectives have completely been achieved.

Between lectures, there’s often not much time for individual questions by students, either because the lecturer or the student has other obligations.

Admitting that something not has been understood (completely) is often difficult for students. Even more, they sometimes simply don’t know if they understood it correctly. It also can be that they think they have understood the concept, but actually have not (completely).


Therefore: Pro-actively ask students on their progress, but also observe how they perform and react on what you observe in a constructive manner.

When asked on their progress, some students will answer that they are doing fine without doing so. So in order to be sure about their progress, the lecturer has to observe directly how they perform. If e.g. a small assignment can be given during the lecture (as a Misconception Assessment (Misconception Assessment)), then you should walk around and look over the students’ shoulders at what they are doing and how they perform. Actively ask them to show you the results of earlier assignments, so that you can check if these really were solved properly. If misconceptions are detected that way, you can either discuss them with the student (or the small group of students) directly or, in case these misconceptions become present more often, adjust your lecture and discuss them with the whole class.

It is not sufficient to rely on that students become active when they don’t understand a topic completely. Some students are too shy to ask or might feel embarrassed when doing so in front of the whole class.

In the flipped classroom course “Object-Oriented Program Development" at HAN University of Applied Sciences, the students have to make assignments as parts of the preparation and to hand them in via mail. The lecturers scan some of these in order to get an overview of the whole class. However, there might be students with difficulties whose solutions have not been examined (and used in class as suggested in Use Student Solutions (Use Student Solutions)[3]) so you don’t know about their shortcomings. For this reason, the lecturers use the time when students work on assignments in class to walk around and ask students to show them some of the older assignment results. This way, the lecturer gets an even better grip on the overall and individual students’ progress. If it becomes clear that certain parts of the assignments are not solved correctly by more students, then a mini-lecture on that topic was held or the classical instruction was adjusted so that the difficult topic was addressed again.


  1. Köppe, C., Portier, M., Bakker, R., & Hoppenbrouwers, S. (in press 2015). Lecture Design Patterns: More Interactivity Improvement Patterns. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP 2015). New York:ACM.
  2. Patlet also published in Köppe, C., Niels, R., Bakker, R., & Hoppenbreuwers, S. (2016). Flipped Classroom Patterns-Controlling the Pace. In Proceedings of the 10th Travelling Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (VikingPLoP 2016). New York:ACM.
  3. Köppe, C., Niels, R., Holwerda, R., Tijsma, L., van Diepen, N., van Turnhout, K., Bakker, R., (2015). Flipped Classroom Patterns - Designing Valuable In-Class Meetings. In Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2015). New York:ACM.