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Lecture Pros and Cons

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Lecture as a Teaching Method:

Lecture is a teaching method where an instructor is the central focus of information transfer. Typically, an instructor will stand before a class and present information for the students to learn. Sometimes, they will write on a board or use an overhead projector to provide visuals for students. Students are expected to take notes while listening to the lecture. Usually, very little exchange occurs between the instructor and the students during a lecture.

Pros of Lecture as a Teaching Method:

  • Lectures are a straightforward way to impart knowledge to students quickly.
  • Instructors also have a greater control over what is being taught in the classroom because they are the sole source of information.
  • Students who are auditory learners find that lectures appeal to their learning style.
  • Logistically, a lecture is often easier to create than other methods of instruction.
  • Lecture is a method familiar to most teachers because it was typically the way they were taught.
  • Because most college courses are lecture-based, students gain experience in this predominant instructional delivery method.

Cons of Lecture as a Teaching Method:

  • Students strong in learning styles other than auditory learning will have a harder time being engaged by lectures.
  • Students who are weak in note-taking skills will have trouble understanding what they should remember from lectures.
  • Students can find lectures boring causing them to lose interest.
  • Students may not feel that they are able to ask questions as they arise during lectures.
  • Teachers may not get a real feel for how much students are understanding because there is not that much opportunity for exchanges during lectures.

Final Thoughts:

Lectures are one tool in a teacher's arsenal of teaching methods. Just as with all the other tools, it should only be used when most appropriate. Instruction should be varied from day to day to help reach the most students possible. Teachers should be cautioned that before heading into numerous classes full of nothing but lectures, they need to provide their students with note taking skills. Only by helping students understand verbal clues and learn methods of organizing and taking notes will they truly help them become successful and get the most out of lectures.
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