A lecture is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. Lectures are used to critical information, history, background, theories. A politicians speech, a sermon, or even a businessmans sales presentation may be similar in form to a lecture. Usually the lecturer will stand at the front of the room, though lectures are much criticised as a teaching method, universities have not yet found practical alternative teaching methods for the large majority of their courses. Critics point out that lecturing is mainly a one-way method of communication that does not involve significant audience participation, therefore, lecturing is often contrasted to active learning. Lectures have a significant role outside the classroom, as well, academic and scientific awards routinely include a lecture as part of the honor, and academic conferences often center around keynote addresses, i. e. lectures. The public lecture has a history in the sciences and in social movements. Union halls, for instance, historically have hosted numerous free, similarly, churches, community centers, libraries, museums, and other organizations have hosted lectures in furtherance of their missions or their constituents interests. Lectures represent a continuation of tradition in contrast to textual communication in books. Lectures may be considered a type of grey literature, the noun lecture dates from 14th century, meaning action of reading, that which is read, from the Latin lectus, pp. of legere to read. Its subsequent meaning as oral discourse on a subject before an audience for purposes of instruction is from the 16th century. The verb to lecture is attested from 1590, the noun lectern refers to the reading desk used by lecturers. The practice in the university was for the instructor to read from an original source to a class of students who took notes on the lecture. The reading from original sources evolved into the reading of glosses on an original, throughout much of history, the diffusion of knowledge via handwritten lecture notes was an essential element of academic life. Even in the century, the lecture notes taken by students. Many lecturers were, and still are, accustomed to reading their own notes from the lectern for exactly that purpose. Nevertheless, modern lectures generally incorporate additional activities, e. g. writing on a chalk-board, exercises, class questions and discussions, or student presentations. The use of presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint has changed the form of lectures, e. g. video, graphics, websites
Lecture at the Australian Defense Forces Academy
A lecture at the University of Bologna in Italy in the mid-fourteenth century. The lecturer reads from a text on the lectern while students in the back sleep.