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Lecturing: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Traditional Lecture Method
Adapted with permission from the Office of Instructional Resources, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.
- Gives the instructor the chance to expose students to unpublished or not readily available material.
- Allows the instructor to precisely determine the aims, content, organization, pace and direction of a presentation. In contrast, more student-centered methods, e.g., discussions or laboratories, require the instructor to deal with unanticipated student ideas, questions and comments.
- Can be used to arouse interest in a subject.
- Can complement and clarify text material.
- Complements certain individual learning preferences. Some students depend upon the structure provided by highly teacher-centered methods.
- Facilitates large-class communication.
- Places students in a passive rather than an active role, which hinders learning.
- Encourages one-way communication; therefore, the lecturer must make a conscious effort to become aware of student problems and student understanding of content without verbal feedback.
- Requires a considerable amount of unguided student time outside of the classroom to enable understanding and long-term retention of content. In contrast, interactive methods (discussion, problem-solving sessions) allow the instructor to influence students when they are actively working with the material.
- Requires the instructor to have or to learn effective writing and speaking skills.