According to Farrah the lecture format is one of the most frequently used instructional methods in adult education. Broadwell describes the lecture as an efficient way of imparting information in a scheduled way without interruption, and with less planning than in most other teaching methods. However, other authors have indicated that the lecture delivery appears to be most effective in accomplishing its specific purposes when used in combination with other instructional strategies.
Online lectures can be presented in a variety of ways. Lecture notes can be placed on a web page for the learner to review. Notes can be put together in a packet for the learner to refer to and either downloaded in file form using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or sent via regular postal mail. Lectures can also be presented via audio or video over the Internet. Since online lectures must, of necessity, be carefully prepared in advance, they are likely to be shorter and more to the point than many lectures in live classroom which, all too often, can extend far beyond the attention span of even adult learners. A short lecture which can be read or listened to in ten to twenty minutes will be likely to give the learner enough information to serve as a basis for further reading, research, or other learning activities. Another obvious advantage of online lectures is that they are readily available for students to reread or listen to again and again as needed.
This text has been adapted from Creating a Powerful Online Course through the Use of Multiple Instructional Strategies