inverted teaching

Pros and cons of popular teaching methods

inverted teaching

Inverted teaching (Self-studying)

Pro: Students are able to dictate the pace at which they learn. There is an unlimited time to take notes, pause and recuperate what is being taught.

Con: Students have to figure out their problems without the aid of their teachers. Thus, students may end up spending an excessive amount of time on an otherwise simple concept.


Traditional (Lectures)

Pro: Teachers are able to explain an abundance of information thoroughly in a small amount of time and are generally open to questions from students afterwards. This teaching style is considered to be the most efficient; lecturers are able to address a great number of students.

Con: Students are incapable of sustaining their attention span and can only retain 5 percent of the information. Oftentimes, students are busy copying down the lecture notes rather than listening to the material.


Interactive (Demonstrative, Activity and Group Work)


Pro: This type of interaction with the students allows the visual learners in the class to physically see what is going on and in turn lets them grasp a concept with more ease. Students are able to retain 30 percent of what they learn through a demonstration.

Con: Students aren’t actually working out the problems themselves and although they may understand the process when the teacher performs it, they are still incapable of doing it on their own. Learners will be better able to identify what they are confused on and address their confusion immediately in either group or activity work.


Pro: Hands-on activities allows students to learn more quickly and more in-depth and is arguably more fun than sitting and listening to lectures. Students are prompted to find their own answers through self-exploration and to ask any questions that may arise throughout the activity. They develop critical thinking skills as a result of self-learning.

Con: The learning process may not run smoothly and teachers may not be able to address every single question in a larger classroom setting. Activities, such as chemistry or biology labs, often cost money to do and are time-consuming.

Group Work

Pro: Guided discovery provides individual students with a support system for learning, by allowing them to tackle more complex problems than they could on their own. Students are constantly being provided with feedback on their ideas and performance. Learners are able to retain 50 percent of what they learn through group discussions. Individual students may also find effective peers to emulate.

Con: Teachers become the consultant and students may end up learning skewed material from their peers. Some students may work harder than others and carry the workload alone; not everyone in a group project contributes and learns the material.


By Brian Wu and Lisa Shen, Opinion editors

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