Good expository instruction goes beyond just giving information to students.
In this lesson, we describe effective expository instruction and how it is used to structure lessons in a way that optimizes learning.
Definition of Expository Instruction
Think about all of the videos you’ve watched here on Study.com. The purpose of these videos is to provide an interesting way to learn the information you need to pass your exam.
They are designed to be engaging, easy to follow, and bite-sized in order to optimize your learning. All of the videos are examples of expository instruction. We discussed expository instruction briefly in another lesson and defined it as the use of an expert to explain a concept or give information to the student. The expert could be an instructor, a textbook, or an educational video, just to name a few. On Study.
com, the videos themselves could be considered experts, and the instructors that create the lessons are also experts. In these videos and in any expository instructional scenario, there is one-way communication as the expert provides instruction with little to no interaction with the students.However, expository instruction goes beyond just presenting students with the facts. It involves presenting clear and concise information in a purposeful way that allows students to easily make connections from one concept to the next. The structure of an expository lesson helps students to stay focused on the topic at hand. Often times, when students are discovering information on their own, they can get distracted and confused by unnecessary information and have difficulty determining what’s important.
This is why expository instruction is one of the most common instructional strategies. Most educators believe students learn new concepts and ideas better if all of the information they need to know is laid out before them.
Characteristics of a Good Expository Approach
Think again about experts, such as teachers, textbooks, and educational videos. They could all be considered an expert source, but they also have something else in common.
The instruction you receive from all three is typically organized so that all the information is laid out in a way that it is easily followed. For example, think again about all of the videos you’ve watched here on Study.com. You receive information from content experts. Most of the lessons provide an introduction and overview before delving into specific information. Transitions are provided to keep you focused and lead you through the lesson.
It’s common for instructors to point out relationships between the new material and information you may already know. Once all of the new information has been presented, a summary provides a quick review and points out the most important facts to remember.Clearly, these videos are great examples of expository instruction! They have all of the features of great expository instruction: an expert, an introduction, a connection to previously learned information, an order that is easy to follow, and a summary. Let’s look closer at some of these features.First, most videos begin with an introduction and overview of the topic before providing more specific information and detail. This expository strategy sets up the lesson and prepares the students for what’s to come. By moving from the general to the specific, it allows students to understand the increasingly detailed explanations of the information and link those explanations to information that was presented previously as part of the general overview.
Whenever possible, the instructor also uses an advance organizer, which is a tool used to introduce the lesson topic and illustrate the relationship between what they are about to learn and the information they have already learned. An advance organizer acts as a conceptual bridge between old information and new information. For example, an analogy that compares a ball bouncing off of the wall to the way that radar works, acts as an advance organizer.
By linking old information with something new being taught, it helps students recognize that the topic they are beginning to learn is not totally new, but rather, can be related to something they are already comfortable with. A person’s existing knowledge about a concept is the most important factor in whether new material will be meaningful and how well it can be learned and retained. In another lesson, we will discuss additional advantages of advance organizers and how to use them in a variety of lessons.Another aspect that the Study.
com videos have in common is that they provide transitions and sometimes a storyline to lead you through the lesson. Expository instruction involves an organized teaching method where information is presented in a specific order. This helps to keep your focus and attention, and lays out all of the information you need to know in a way that helps you to remember it. Once all of the new information has been presented, lessons typically end with a summary.
The summary serves as a quick review and points out the most important facts to remember.
Teachers who use expository instruction present information to their students in a purposeful way that allows students to easily make connections from one concept to the next. Students receive the information from an expert, which could be the teacher or another expert, such as a textbook author or educational video.
Whenever possible, the instructor uses an advance organizer, which is a tool used to introduce the lesson and illustrate the relationships between what the students are about to learn and the information they have already learned. The structure of an expository lesson is designed to help students stay focused on the topic at hand. A summary of the lesson brings everything together and reminds you of the most important information.