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LECTURE  METHOD

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INSTRUCTIONAL  METHODS AND TECHNIQUES All methods of instruction can be classified as telling, lecturing, or discussing; showing or demonstrating; or any combination of these. Often the best method of teaching combines the various methods. You must decide which methods to combine and the emphasis to place on each unless the curriculum itself dictates the com- bination needed. In making that decision, consider (1) the nature of the trainees, (2) the subject matter, and (3) the limitations of time. LECTURE METHOD The lecture is still the most frequently used method  of  instruction.  However,  presenting  a lecture without pausing for interaction with trainees can be ineffective regardless of your skill as a speaker. The use of pauses during the lecture for direct oral questioning creates interaction between instructor and trainee. Unfortunately, when classes are large, the instructor cannot possibly interact with all trainees on each point. The learning effectiveness of the lecture method has been questioned because of the lack of interac- tion; but it continues as a means of reaching a large group at one time with a condensed, organized body of information. Providing trainees with  lesson  objectives  before  the  lecture  will enable them to listen more effectively. It will help them to take concise, brief notes concerning the objectives rather than writing feverishly through- out the lecture. We discuss the lecture method first because the techniques involved serve as the basis for other methods of training. Those techniques apply not only to lectures, but to many other kinds of presentations in which oral explanations play a secondary, but important, role. Every method depends on oral instruction to give information, to arouse attention and interest, and to develop receptive attitudes on the part of the trainees. Therefore, as an instructor, organize your oral presentations with the following techniques in mind: 1. Maintain good eye contact. As you speak, shift  your  gaze  about  the  class,  pausing momentarily to meet the gaze of each trainee. Make the trainees feel what you have to say is directed to each one personally. Your eyes as well as your voice communicate to them; and their eyes, facial expressions, and reactions communicate to you. Watch for indications of doubt, misunderstanding, a desire to participate, fatigue, or a lack of interest. If you are dealing with young trainees, you may sometimes need to remind them that they must give undivided atten- tion to the instruction. 2. Maintain a high degree of enthusiasm. 3. Speak in a natural, conversational voice.’ Enunciate your words clearly. Make certain the trainees can hear every spoken word. 4. Emphasize important points by the use of gestures,  repetition,  and  variation  in  voice inflection. 5.  Check  trainee  comprehension  carefully throughout the presentation by watching the faces of the trainees and by questioning. Observing facial expressions as an indication of doubt or misunderstanding is not a sure way of  checking  on  trainee  comprehension.  Some trainees may appear to be comprehending the subject  matter  when,  in  reality,  they  are completely confused. Trainees who are in doubt often hesitate to make their difficulty known. They may hesitate because of natural timidity, fear of being classified as stupid, or failure to understand the subject matter well enough to explain where their difficulty lies. Frequently ask if the class has any questions, thus giving the trainees an opportunity to express any doubts or misunderstandings on their part. Based  on  your  personal  knowledge  and  past experiences, ask specific questions about those areas which might give trainees the most trouble. Some instructors make the mistake of waiting until the end of the presentation to ask questions. The best time to clear away mental fog is when the fog develops. Mental fog tends to create a mental  block  that  prevents  the  trainee  from concentrating on the subject matter being presented.  (Later  in  this  chapter  we  discuss techniques related to asking questions, calling upon trainees to answer questions, and evaluating answers.) 6. Instruct on the class level. Use words, explanations, visual illustrations, questions, and the like, directed to the needs of the average trainee in the class. 7. Stimulate trainees to think. Think, as used here, refers to creative thinking rather than to a mere recall of facts previously learned. Use a number of instructional devices for stimulating trainee  thinking.    Among those devices are thought-provoking questions, class discussions, 5-4



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