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What it is

When To Use It


One person conveys information to a group of learners by talking to them, with or without visual aids. There is no participation by the learners and little feedback to the lecturer. In large groups where discussion is not practical. When an expert is relaying new information to learners who have no relevant personal experience.

Informal Talk

Similar to a lecture, except involving feedback and participation by the learners. Less formal. In groups where there is ample time for questions and feedback. Where material being presented is not entirely outside the experiences of the learners.


A person or team of persons show learners how they would carry out a task by actually performing the task while explaining it.  Usually followed up by practicing the task. Especially helpful for teaching a skill.  Need to have a small instructor to learner ratio.


A planned conversation (exchange of ideas or viewpoints) on a selected topic, guided by a trained discussion leader. Where the ideas and experiences of the group will help them discover the point they are learning. There needs to be an experienced leader to keep things on track.

Case Study

A realistic situation or a series of actual events is presented to the learners, either orally or by a handout, for their analysis. Where real-life situations get the point across most effectively. Where multiple points of view will help learners to better understand the concepts.


Leaders or learners act out roles presented in a particular situation.  Participants must supply their own dialog within the context of the role and the situation. Where high learner participation is desired, and when the subject involves person to person communication.


A more complex form of role-playing and case study.   Used to recreate the environment in which participants would normally carry out a job and the situations that might arise. For disaster, rescue, first aid, or other crisis management situation training.  Any time an elaborate role-play can best teach the subject matter.


Group members suggest possible solutions to a problem in rapid-fire order, either orally or on cards to be posted.  All ideas are considered; criticism and editorializing are not allowed. When the things to be learned involve pulling together the ideas of the whole group. For program planning.

Buzz Groups

A way to promote the quick exchange of ideas on a single topic in a short period of time.  Ideas are presented back to the larger group for discussion. When the group is too large for general discussion or brainstorming.  When the experiences of the learners can lead them to discover solutions for themselves.

Question and Answer Session

An opportunity for an expert to impart specific knowledge about a topic in direct response to the desires of the group of learners. Near the end of a training session.  When an expert is available--one whose knowledge is either superior or whose authority makes his/her answers correct.

Learning Centers

A series of stations/tables/corners, each accommodating a small group, all teaching related parts of the same general topic. When desiring to teach a lot of information in a short period of time.  When a group is too large to teach effectively through other methods above.






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Techniques ] Characteristics ] Discussion ] Evaluation ] Lead Games ] Speaker Intro ] Objectives ] Power Point ] Power Point Resources ] Reflection ] Song Leading ] Support ] [ Techniques ] Trainer's Creed ] Scouting Urban Legends ] 1914 Training Program ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Scouting  Methods ] Training Trainers ] Scout Alumni for the Troop ] School Presentation ] Homesick Scouts ] Commandments for Camp ] Woodcraft Men Women ] Burnout! ] Youth Protection ] BSA Federal Charter ] Fundraising ] Acronyms ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.