Common teaching methods


COMMON TEACHING METHODS

From “Getting the Most out of Your AIDS/HIV Trainings”
East Bay AIDS Education Training Center
Revised from 1989 addition by Pat McCarthy, RN, MSN, 1992

Lecture
STRENGTHS:
– presents factual material in direct, logical manner
– contains experience which inspires
– stimulates thinking to open discussion
– useful for large groups

LIMITATIONS:
– experts are not always good teachers
– audience is passive
– learning is difficult to gauge
– communication in one way

PREPARATION:
– needs clear introduction and summary
– needs time and content limit to be effective
– should include examples, anecdotes
Lecture With Discussion
STRENGTHS:
– involves audience at least after the lecture
– audience can question, clarify & challenge

LIMITATIONS:
– time may limit discussion period
– quality is limited to quality of questions and discussion

PREPARATION:
– requires that questions be prepared prior to discussion
Panel of Experts
STRENGTHS:
– allows experts to present different opinions
– can provoke better discussion than a one person discussion
– frequent change of speaker keeps attention from lagging

LIMITATIONS:
– experts may not be good speakers
– personalities may overshadow content
– subject may not be in logical order

PREPARATION:
– facilitator coordinates focus of panel, introduces and summarizes
– briefs panel
Brainstorming
STRENGTHS:
– listening exercise that allows creative thinking for new ideas
– encourages full participation because all ideas equally recorded
– draws on group’s knowledge and experience
– spirit of congeniality is created
– one idea can spark off other other ideas

LIMITATIONS:
– can be unfocused
– needs to be limited to 5 – 7 minutes
– people may have difficulty getting away from known reality
– if not facilitated well, criticism and evaluation may occur

PREPARATION:
– facilitator selects issue
– must have some ideas if group needs to be stimulated
Videotapes
STRENGTHS:
– entertaining way of teaching content and raising issues
– keep group’s attention
– looks professional
– stimulates discussion

LIMITATIONS:
– can raise too many issues to have a focused discussion
– discussion may not have full participation
– only as effective as following discussion

PREPARATION:
– need to set up equipment
– effective only if facilitator prepares questions to discuss after the show
Class Discussion
STRENGTHS:
– pools ideas and experiences from group
– effective after a presentation, film or experience that needs to be analyzed
– allows everyone to participate in an active process

LIMITATIONS:
– not practical with more that 20 people
– few people can dominate
– others may not participate
– is time consuming
– can get off the track

PREPARATION:
– requires careful planning by facilitator to guide discussion
– requires question outline
Small Group Discussion
STRENGTHS:
– allows participation of everyone
– people often more comfortable in small groups
– can reach group consensus

LIMITATIONS:
– needs careful thought as to purpose of group
– groups may get side tracked

PREPARATION:
– needs to prepare specific tasks or questions for group to answer
Case Studies
STRENGTHS:
– develops analytic and problem solving skills
– allows for exploration of solutions for complex issues
– allows student to apply new knowledge and skills

LIMITATIONS:
– people may not see relevance to own situation
– insufficient information can lead to inappropriate results

PREPARATION:
– case must be clearly defined in some cases
– case study must be prepared
Role Playing
STRENGTHS:
– introduces problem situation dramatically
– provides opportunity for people to assume roles of others and thus appreciate another point of view
– allows for exploration of solutions
– provides opportunity to practice skills

LIMITATIONS:
– people may be too self-conscious
– not appropriate for large groups
– people may feel threatened

PREPARATION:
– trainer has to define problem situation and roles clearly
– trainer must give very clear instructions
Report-Back Sessions
STRENGTHS:
– allows for large group discussion of role plays, case studies, and small group exercise
– gives people a chance to reflect on experience
– each group takes responsibility for its operation

LIMITATIONS:
– can be repetitive if each small group says the same thing

PREPARATION:
– trainer has to prepare questions for groups to discuss
Worksheets/Surveys
STRENGTHS:
– allows people to thing for themselves without being influences by others
– individual thoughts can then be shared in large group

LIMITATIONS:
– can be used only for short period of time

PREPARATION:
– facilitator has to prepare handouts
Index Card Exercise
STRENGTHS:
– opportunity to explore difficult and complex issues

LIMITATIONS:
– people may not do exercise

PREPARATION:
– facilitator must prepare questions
Guest Speaker
STRENGTHS:
– personalizes topic
– breaks down audience’s stereotypes

LIMITATIONS:
– may not be a good speaker

PREPARATION:
– contact speakers and coordinate
– introduce speaker appropriately
Values Clarification Exercise
STRENGTHS:
– opportunity to explore values and beliefs
– allows people to discuss values in a safe environment
– gives structure to discussion

LIMITATION:
– people may not be honest
– people may be too self-conscious

PREPARATION:
– facilitator must carefully prepare exercise
– must give clear instructions
– facilitator must prepare discussion question

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