DoingCL - Advantages and Disadvantages of Lectures





Advantages and Disadvantages of Lectures

Advantages and disadvantages of lectures as quoted from Bonwell (1996) who cited Cashin (1985) as the original author.

Advantages of the lecture

  • Effective lecturers can communicate the intrinsic interest of a subject through their enthusiasm.
  • Lectures can present material not otherwise available to students.
  • Lectures can be specifically organized to meet the needs of particular audiences.
  • Lectures can present large amounts of information.
  • Lectures can be presented to large audiences.
  • Lecturers can model how professionals work through disciplinary questions or problems.
  • Lectures allow the instructor maximum control of the learning experience.
  • Lectures present little risk for students.
  • Lectures appeal to those who learn by listening.

Disadvantages of the lecture

  • Lectures fail to provide instructors with feedback about the extent of student learning.
  • In lectures students are often passive because there is no mechanism to ensure that they are intellectually engaged with the material.
  • Students' attention wanes quickly after fifteen to twenty-five minutes.
  • Information tends to be forgotten quickly when students are passive.
  • Lectures presume that all students learn at the same pace and are at the same level of understanding.
  • Lectures are not suited for teaching higher orders of thinking such as application, analysis, synthesis, or evaluation; for teaching motor skills, or for influencing attitudes or values.
  • Lectures are not well suited for teaching complex, abstract material.
  • Lectures requires effective speakers.
  • Lectures emphasize learning by listening, which is a disadvantage for students who have other learning styles.

Bonwell, C. C. (1996). "Enhancing the lecture: Revitalizing a traditional format" In Sutherland, T. E., and Bonwell, C. C. (Eds.), Using active learning in college classes: A range of options for faculty, New Directions for Teaching and Learning No. 67.

Cashin, W. E. (1985). "Improving lectures" Idea Paper No. 14. Manhattan: Kansas State University, Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development.

Doing CL
More Info