Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Sam Stack

Committee Co-Chair

Miriam Douglas

Committee Member

Kimberly Floyd

Committee Member

Laura Pyzdrowski

Committee Member

Amy Root


Lecturing is a common way to teach large classes, especially in mathematics. Other styles of instruction have been proven to be more effective in small classroom settings, but those styles are not always practical (or even feasible) in classes with 200+ students. The lecturing dialogue primarily exists at the intersection of Spectrum Theory and the Socratic Method, utilizing inquiry-based learning within the realm of active learning, experiential learning, and constructivism to appeal to learners with various learning styles, which helps students to discover new information (specifically, why things occur in the way that they do) and make connections between old and new material. Spectrum Theory outlines different teaching styles, based on how much a specific style is teacher-centered versus student-centered. The lecturing dialogue combines several of the different approaches from the Spectrum of Teaching Styles, specifically lecture, tutoring, instructional conversation, inquiry-based learning, and guided discovery. It utilizes the Socratic Method to turn students into active learners through constructivism and experiential learning. A high-enrollment, college algebra class using a standard lecture significantly outperformed a class using the lecturing dialogue on labs, surveys/questionnaires, and final grade, but not on final grades without the labs. The labs could be worked on outside of the class, so factors beyond the teaching style may have influenced the results. There was not significant difference between the classes in regards to attitude (enjoyment, motivation, value, and self-confidence). Overall, it appears as though the teaching style has no real impact on either student performance or student attitude in large college algebra classes.