Skip to Content
Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023



  • Influence: Lectures
  • Domain: Teaching Strategies
  • Sub-Domain: Instructional strategies
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have a negative impact
  • Influence Definition: The use of lectures, typically in higher education, to larger groups of students where the instructor is directly presenting or speaking uninterrupted to a more passive audience.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 3
  • Number of studies: 273
  • Number of students: 8,336
  • Number of effects: 614
  • Weighted mean effect size: -0.35
  • Robustness index: 4


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Dissertation Cohn USA A meta-analysis of the effects of teaching innovations on achievement in college economics 1985 Innovative teaching vs. traditional lectures in economics 48 0 48 -0.20
Conference paper Freeman, Eddy, McDonough, Smith, Okoroafor, Jordt, & Wenderoth USA Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics 2014 Active learning vs Lecturing in college 158 0 158 -0.47
Conference paper Flaig, Heltemes, Lendermann, & Schneider Germany What's the use of lectures? A meta-analysis 2019 Lectures compared to other formats 67 8,336 408 -0.18
TOTAL/AVERAGE 273 8,336 614 -0.28
Back to top