Getting Your Point Across


Getting Your Point Across

Importance of Theme: “Getting your point across”

The theme “Getting your point across” is incredibly important for a number of reasons. Not only is explaining things central to a lecturers’ job, it also ensures that students understand a topic, know what is required during a course and encourages students’ educational development.


Dr Phil Race, Addressing Student Satisfaction – adopted from material published in Making Teaching Work by Phil Race and Ruth Pickford, London: Sage, 2007).

How to be good at explaining things ?

  1. Accept that explaining things to students is a key part of our job.
  2. Be patient, and willing to explain things at just about any time.
  3. Keep track of what needs explaining. For example, when individual students ask for particular things to be explained, make a note of the topic, and build short explanation sessions into lectures.
  4. Explain in more than one way. For example, alter your tone of voice, body language, facial expression, gesture, speed of speech, emphasis, and or explain using visual techniques.
  5. Respond to puzzled looks and watch out for the moment when students’ eyes show that we’ve lost them, and then find out from them ‘what exactly is the bit that’s a problem to you here?”, and then respond to their replies.

The theme is also significant in relation to the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Academy Fellowship.

National Student Survey

The theme has been taken from the National Student Survey question “Staff are good at explaining things” under the category “Teaching on my course”.

In the recent 2014 NSS results Swansea University achieved some great scores with 91% of students agreed that “staff are good at explaining things”. In the Department of History and Classics, students awarded 97% for the subject Ancient History. Students in the College of Law awarded 91% for the question.

Higher Education Academy

The theme is also important in regards to the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) as “getting your point across” contributes to Core Knowledge K3, how students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area, and Professional Values V2, promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners.

For more information on the UKPSF follow the link https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/professional-recognition/uk-professional-standards-framework-ukpsf

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