In guest lecture videos, there is a guest speaker, a podium and microphone, perhaps a large-screen projector, and a live audience.  This is a single lecture, or series of themed lectures, presented as a special academic event.  Guest lecture videos are recordings of special speaking events, usually presented by renowned experts in a certain field of study. The audience is made up of students, professors, and others who have an interest in the topic. The presentations are usually quite formal and, for this reason, the videos are lightly edited and are generally of good quality.

What to Expect

Advantages of guest lecture videos:

  • You can "attend" a formal lectures at prestigious universities.
  • You can get special insight into the speaker's own life and work.
  • You can learn from some of the most prominent professors and scholars of our time.

Disadvantages of guest lecture videos:

  • The topic of the lecture is usually quite narrow.
  • Occasionally, the reputation of the speaker far exceeds the quality of his/her presentation. In those rare instances, sit back and enjoy the virtual presence of an accomplished individual (even if they don't make sense to you).

Here are a few more notable characteristics of guest lecture videos:

  • The information is aimed at the audience. However, the format and quality of the presentation tends to draw the viewer into the audience.
  • The videos typically run an hour or more.
  • It is usually easy to take notes because of the lecture should have a formal structure and even pace of presentation.

How to Use Them

You might find that you can get all the information and notes you need from a guest lecture video in one viewing. The speakers tend to use well-organized presentations and deliver the ideas at a fairly even pace.


Sponsored lectures are not intended to deliver the kind of detail we expect from textbooks and classroom lectures. The sponsored lecture deals with a single topic -- the topic that the speaker is qualified to present. Ideas are usually presented with broader strokes than in a classroom setting, and the content of the lecture is sometimes based on the speaker's opinion, experience, and even personal bias. As a self learner, you should not expect a guest lecture to serve as a primary source of information. So one viewing, maybe two, is enough. The value of a guest lecture video is the way that it can help you find a productive perspective on the subject—a perspective that will help you with your more concentrated studies.



David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015