Common Teaching Methods

  • Author: East Bay AIDS Education Training Center, addition/revision by Pat McCarthy, RN, MSN


Strengths, limitations and preparation of the 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 questions

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