Lecture. For many years, the lecture method was the most widely used instructional strategy in college classrooms. Nearly 80% of all U.S. college classrooms in the late 1970s reported using some form of the lecture method to teach students (Cashin, 1990). Although the usefulness of other teaching strategies is being widely examined today, the lecture still remains an important way to communicate information.
Used in conjunction with active learning teaching strategies, the traditional lecture can be an effective way to achieve instructional goals. The advantages of the lecture approach are that it provides a way to communicate a large amount of information to many listeners, maximizes instructor control and is non-threatening to students. The disadvantages are that lecturing minimizes feedback from students, assumes an unrealistic level of student understanding and comprehension, and often disengages students from the learning process causing information to be quickly forgotten.
The following recommendations can help make the lecture approach more effective (Cashin, 1990):