What are the Important Methods and Techniques of Teaching?


Teaching methods and techniques may be divided into two groups:

1. Institutional Techniques; and

2. Individual Techniques.


Institutional techniques are those methods and techniques which are adopted in institutional schedules and are taken in practice by an institution and its organs. On the other hand in individual techniques, an individual learns through the five senses-hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste and combinations of these-in involvement oriented experiences. As one moves from listening to seeing to doing learning occurs faster, more learning occurs and there is a greater transfer of learning to other similar situations.

Institutional Techniques

The institutional methods and techniques are given below along with their strengths and weaknesses: Lecture

Lecture is providing verbal information to the students by teacher. It needs clear introduction, summary, time and content limit to be effective. It should include examples, anecdotes, etc.



(i) It stimulates thinking to open discussion useful for large groups

(ii) It presents factual material in direct logical manner

(iii) It contains experience which inspires.



(i) In lectures, learning is difficult to gauge.

(ii) It conveys communication in one way.

(iii) Experts are not always good teachers.


(iv) In lecture, audience is passive.


Discussions are categorized in: (a) Discussion with lecture;

(b) Class discussion; and


(c) Small group discussion.

Discussion with Lecture: Discussion with lectures requires that questions be prepared prior to discussion.


(i) It involves audience at least after the lecture

(ii) In this kind of discussion audience can question, clarify & challenge. Weakness

(iii) time may limit discussion period

(iv) quality is limited to quality of questions and discussion.

Class Discussion: Class discussion requires careful planning by facilitator to guide discussion, and question outline.


(i) It pools ideas and experiences from group

(ii) It may be effective after a presentation, film or experience that needs to be analyzed.

(iii) It allows everyone to participate in an active process.


It is not practical with more than 20 people

A few people can dominate

Other may not participate in class discussions.

Class discussion is time consuming

It can get off the track.

Small Group Discussion: It needs to prepare specific tasks or questions for group to answer. Strength

(i) It allows participation of everyone

(ii) People often more comfortable in small groups

(iii)It can reach group consensus.


Needs careful through as to purpose of group groups may get side tracked. Panel of Experts

In the panel of experts facilitator coordinates focus of panel introduces, summarizes and briefs panel.


(i) It allows experts to present different opinions

(ii) It can provoke better discussion than a one person discussion

(iii)In it, frequent change of speaker keeps attention from lagging.


(i) Experts included in panel may not be good speakers

(ii) Personalities may overshadow content

(iii) Subject may not be in logical order.


Video-tapes need to set up equipment, and are effective only if facilitator prepares questions to discuss after the show.


(i) It looks professional

(ii) It stimulates discussion

(iii) It is the entertaining way of teaching content (?v) It raises issues

(v) It keeps groups attention.


(i) It can raise too many issues to have a focus discussion

(ii) In it, discussion may not have full participation

(iii) It is only as effective as following discussion.

Role Playing

In role playing trainer has to define problem situation and roles clearly. During role playing, trainer must give very clear instructions.


(i) It allows for exploration of solutions

(ii) It provides opportunity to practice skills

(iii) It introduces problem situation dramatically

(iv) It provides opportunity for people to assume roles of other and thus appreciate another point of view.


(i) In role playing, people may be too self-conscious

(ii) It is not appropriate for large groups

(iii) People may feel threatened.

Brain Storming

In brain storming facilitator selects issue. He must have some ideas if group needs to be stimulated. Strength

(i) It draws on group’s knowledge and experience

(ii) The spirit of congeniality is created in brain storming

(iii) In it, one idea can spark off other ideas

(iv) It is listing exercise that allows creative thinking for new ideas

(v) It encourages full participation because all idea equally recorded.


(i) In brain storming people may be difficulty getting away from known reality

(ii) If it is not facilitated well, criticism and evaluation may occur

(iii) It can be unfocused

(iv) It needs to be limited to 5-7 minutes.

Case Studies

In case studies case must be clearly defined in some cases. The case study must be prepared. Strength

It develops analytic and problem solving skills

It allows for exploration of solutions for complex issues

It allows students to apply new knowledge and skills.


(i) In case study people may not see relevance to own situation

(ii) Insufficient information can lead to inappropriate results.

Guest Speaker

Guest speakers are called to motivate the students. Institutions contact speakers, coordinate and introduce them appropriately.


(i) It personalizes topic

(ii) It breaks down audience’s stereotypes


A guest speaker may not be a good speaker. Worksheets Surveys

Facilitator has to prepare handouts in worksheets surveys. Strength

(i) It allows people to think for them without being influenced by others

(ii) In these surveys individual’s thoughts can then be shared in large group.


It can be used only for short period of time. Values Clarification Exercise

Facilitator must carefully prepare exercise for values clarification exercise. He must give clear instructions and prepare discussion questions for students.


(i) It provides opportunity to explore values and beliefs

(ii) It allows people to discuss values in an environment

(iii) It gives structure to discussion.


(i) People may not be honest in values clarification exercises

(ii) People may be too self-conscious during the discussion.

Index Card Exercise

Facilitator must prepare questions to conduct index card exercise. Strength

It gives opportunity to explore difficult and complex issues. Weakness

People may not do exercise as prescribed in index card exercises.

Report Back Sessions

In report-back sessions, trainer has to prepare questions for groups to discuss.


(i) It gives people a chance to reflect on experience

(ii) Each group takes responsibility for its operation in this session

(iii) It allows for large group discussion of role plays, case studies, and small group exercise.


It can be repetitive if each small group says the same thing.

Individual Techniques

The method of teaching selected must be interesting to the learner. The methods can be tied to the methods of learning-listening seeing and doing.

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