Instructional Methods: What are the limitations of the lecture method and how can they be remedied?


Chapter 4

Teaching Strategies

4b iv). State the limitations of lecture method.

The following are shortcomings of lecture method

  • Poor retention of learned material.
  • Leads to rote learning encouraging cramming instead of understanding.
  • Does not lead to the development of inquisitive minds among learners.
  • Boring, uninspiring and monotonous.
  • Does not cater for individual differences.
  • Tends to make learners passive
  • Results to superficial learning because most of them provide little reinforcement by which to drive home understanding.
  • Does not lead to the attainment of higher cognitive learning/goals.

A. )How does one overcome the above limitations?

The teacher can make the lecture method informal and liberating by planning for the lecture carefully while bearing the following points in mind either in the preparation or presentation stage:

  1. Identifying the main theme of the lecturer;
  2. Dividing the lecture into three parts: introduction, main body and conclusion; and
  • Introducing the lesson with some interest catching device to capture the learner’s interest and attention, for instance, making use of a story, a poem, a song as a set induction.

In the main body one should:

  • Partition the talk in a few briefly worded ideas in a logical order.
  • Show enthusiasm for the topic being taught, this will arouse the learners’ interest as well;
  • Punctuate the lecture with pauses;
  • Ask though provoking questions in strategic places to involve the learners;
  • Check on the students’ understanding by asking a few questions, encourage them to ask questions;
  • Reinforce the points of the lecture and provide for transfer by relating key points to the students’ experiences, success, or interests, and drawing examples from the class;
  • Try to be humorous to make the lesson interesting;
  • Make use of examples and illustrations to illustrate points;
  • Supplement or add life to a lecture by making use of audio-visual aids such as maps, charts, pictures, films strips, regalia, and objects.
  • Repeat important points for emphasis;
  • Avoid irrelevancy by keeping to the point or give the learners chances to catch up by summarizing information for themselves.
  • Be aware of warning signs of the learners, such as restlessness, boredom, confusion, indiscipline, dissatisfaction;
  • Use a familiar language and to the level of the learners; and
  • Make the lecture as short as you can. Do not present too much information at once.In the conclusion be forceful by either summing up or reviewing, asking related questions or giving assignments.

Follow the lecture with related activities to bind the learning by:

  • Ensuring the learners make notes using your (teacher’s) outline;
  • Checking their notes and knowledge acquired;
  • Carrying a discussion with them on the points they did not follow;
  • Giving a project related to the content in the lecture;
  • Asking oral questions on content covered;
  • Asking them written questions to test the understanding; and
  • Allowing a student to summarize the main points of the lecture in a new lesson.



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