August 23, 2007

Responsibilities of a Lecturer

Posted in Roles and Responsibilities at 7:50 am by drzabokia

  (This article is written in the context of Malaysian Private Colleges.) 

Let’s start with the definition of the word lecturer by considering the word lecture. 

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines lecture as, 

“A talk giving information about a subject to an audience or a class, often as part of a teaching programme.” 

So, a lecturer is a person who delivers lectures, especially at a college or university. 

Now, what about the word teach? 

From the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, teach means,

“to show somebody to do something so that they will be able to do it themselves.” 

Do lecturers teach?  The answer is definitely yes. 

The primary role of a lecturer is to educate.  However, a lecturer in Malaysian private colleges often wears many hats.  Lecturers also play the roles as tutors, teachers, administrators and counsellors.  Some lecturers may even need to be involved in marketing activities.  In Universities, the role of a lecturer is better defined. 

As a lecturer, these are the normal tasks: 

i)                  First and foremost – lecture

ii)                Prepare teaching materials – i.e. slides (if applicable) and handouts for students

iii)             Set and mark assignments and examination papers 

I feel that to be an all-rounded lecturer, the role is more than just giving a talk about a subject or setting and marking students’ work. 

What are other roles do lecturer play these days? 


A lecturer should also provide pastoral care to their students.  Some students may be under tremendous pressure – family problems, boy-girl relationship issues, peer pressure, financial difficulties, etc.  Most may not be able to cope well.  When a student seems unmotivated and his/her attendance starts to dwindle, it’s advisable to counsel the student.   

Well, there are lecturers who disagree saying, “I’m just a lecturer.  Why should I handle such cases?  Isn’t this the job of the Counsellor?” 

Outside the home, and besides friends, I think lecturers have the most contact time with the student.  In some cases, the lecturer may even know more about the student than their own parents.  So, lecturers certainly do have the ability and capacity to perform this task. 

During a counseling session, a lecturer could also get feedback from the students on the course or subject matter.  This may be helpful to the lecturer to improve certain areas related to his/her teaching. 

It is a good practice to document the counseling sessions with the students.  This will enable the team to monitor the progress of the students, and provide feedback to their guardian if required. 

Generally, it is important to maintain a good communication with the students, of course, within a healthy boundary.  


What administration jobs do lecturers handle?

Lots of documentation is involved when it comes to quality assurance procedures.  This includes preparing teaching and assignment schedule, minutes of meeting, weekly reports on teaching, and student feedback on assignment.  

Marketing Activities

Some of you may be puzzled – why are lecturers involved in marketing activities?


  • Lecturers know the course content better.  Hence, can give better advice or information.
  • There is a need to have more staff to counsel potential students during education fairs.

 The tasks may include the following:

  • Participate in education fairs and road shows
  • Present career talks in Secondary Schools
  • Prepare Counselling Kit to promote programmes
  • Counsel potential students during Open Day
  • Conduct workshops

List of other tasks:

  • Research and Development
  • Publications
  • Graduation planning
  • Entertaining visiting lecturers
  • Participating in extra curricular activities like clubs or societies.


Ultimately, what am I trying to point out?

If you want to venture into the education line as a lecturer, be aware of the responsibilities outside the scope of a lecturer.  Be prepared to take up additional roles.  Think and accept it positively as a path to career development. 

Do not think that lecturers have an easy life.  We play a vital role in forming and shaping future leaders.  



  1. This is an extra ordinary piece .I really enjoy every bit of it. I aspire to a lecturer thanks.

  2. sankari said,

    good to see the points on these. the way to gret the information may also be made known to the lecturers. th efamous quotes and saying may add great information

  3. S.MohanSelvam said,

    This information is more useful to me.. This month i joined as a lecturer.. My class will start from next month.. i understand my responsibilites… i will do my work clearly..

    “yes lecturer job is not easy”
    “They have lot more responsibilities”
    “They must be a role model for thier students”
    “I love my job”


  4. suffina said,

    i really love my job as a tutor/lecturer in one of our university in malaysia. thank you for this post because giving me more idea on what i am doing now.

  5. percy said,

    Wow, this is marvellous, I love lecturing

  6. Am a lecturer, i know my responsibilities , am proud to be academician,

  7. Nontando Mzayifani said,

    I recently joined a college as a lecturer and I am enjoying the job.Lecturing is not an easy job there is a lot involnved as there young students who now look up to me, I have become a mentor to many students and it feels good to be able to help someone get knowledge.Knowledge is power!I love my job and thank you for this piece published here because I understand my duties and responsibilities.

  8. I really enjoyed reading your article. as someone who is about to attend an interview of becoming an assistant lecturer, I really benefited a lot. from pagan’a jane

  9. Sahid said,

    This is really helpful for those starting theri career as a lecturer. I have gained broad ideas outside preparing and delivering lecture. A lecturer can do more than they can usually do for the society and country as well.

  10. Sahid said,

    This is really helpful for those starting their career as a lecturer. I have gained broad ideas outside preparing and delivering lectures. A lecturer can do more than they can usually do for the society and country as well.

  11. ali azarnia said,

    Hi, I finished my master in information technology in MMU university and I will finish my PHD this year from upm,

  12. richar1977 said,

    This is a great insight! Thanks

    • Richard Nimako said,

      Thanks for this great information

  13. Aliyu said,

    I really enjoyed reading your article. as someone who
    is about to attend an interview of becoming a lecturer 3 and I needed more thanks

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