Seminar (meeting)

Seminar. Type of activity and way of organizing the teaching activity.


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  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Definition
  • 3 Functions
  • 4 Advantages of its application
  • 5 Types of seminars
    • 1 Questions and answers
    • 2 Dialogue
    • 3 Presentation
    • 4 Presentation-opposition
    • 5 Panels
    • 6 Round table
    • 7 Video debate
  • 6 Sources


The new pedagogical model of the universalization of Higher Education is based on the organization of the teaching process from a blended basis. In which the essential mission is not to transmit knowledge but to promote the development of skills and capacities that facilitate from the inter-study study the analysis, interpretation and criticism of historical sources favoring cognitive independence.


Every day it is very common to hear some considerations about the seminar, and some sources consider it as a teaching body in which students train in research or in the practice of some discipline. Another meaning of the term defines it as the establishment where individuals destined for the ecclesiastical state receive the instruction and education that the Church demands of their future priests. The one that we will detail is the organizational form of the teaching process.

Seminary (seminarius): belonging to the semen, the seed, house or place destined for the education of children and youth.

Seminar: teaching body in which, through the joint work of teachers and disciples, they train in research or in the practice of some discipline.

Seminar: conversations conducted in a manner ordered by the teacher, who acts as the conductor of the activity.

Seminar: organizational form of the teaching-learning process in which students delve into the content of the subjects through the exposition in a clear and precise way, emphasizing the general aspects of said content.

All the aforementioned definitions lead us to think that we can speak of seminary in terms of educational institution, type of activity, and as a way of organizing teaching activity. It is in this last sense that it is intended to focus attention, so the main objective of this work is to offer some foundations about the seminar as a form of teaching organization.


Cognitive function: The seminar is a laboratory of creation in which the knowledge received by students during the lecture or as a result of individual work is strengthened, while new approaches are formulated that until now have not appeared within the sphere of student attention. That is, students acquire the habit for their own reasoning, develop expression, and sharpen and sharpen their thinking.

Educational function: The seminars contribute significantly to the formation of convictions and allow the teacher to learn more about the criteria of the students in order to direct them towards the eradication of erroneous criteria and negative attitudes and develops a sense of responsibility.

It educates the will, collectivism , the spirit of criticism and self-criticism and contributes to the formation of the scientific conception of the world in students.

Control function: This function is manifested in the fact that the seminar allows the teacher to know the depth and systematicity of the study of his students, through the development of this activity the difficulties or achievements of the students in their teaching activity which enables the necessary corrections.

These three functions do not act independently but on the contrary in close connection and form a system.

Advantages of its application

  • Deepening, consolidating and specifying the subject studied and at the same time posing new problems (which serve as a starting point for other content).
  • Develops the ability to think for themselves, to self-evaluate and evaluate others, as well as to analyze data from science and social practice.
  • It favors the execution of thought processes such as analysis, synthesis, comparison and generalization.
  • It helps them to argue their criteria with foundation and find solutions to the problems that arise; to form points of view and opinions in accordance with the Marxist-Leninistideology and
  • Develops skills in handling textbooks, documents and other materials and the steps of a methodology to synthesize, extract the essentials, and prepare summaries.

Types of seminars

Questions and answers

As its name suggests, it is based on a teacher-student exchange based on questions and answers. This type of seminar can be carried out in several ways, since the content can be oriented and in its execution the teacher asks and the students respond voluntarily; the teacher can have conceived who is going to ask in advance; Or you can also prepare the questions on cards and each student randomly chooses a number that will coincide with the card that has the question.

Any of the variants used should not be formal, but rather try to stimulate the students to carry out the activity with quality. The evaluation will depend on the quality of the students’ responses.


It consists of the participation of the students in a conversational way on one or several previously studied topics, from which criteria according to the sources consulted are poured, and is not intended for discussion or opposition. The evaluation is carried out on the basis of the quality of the information that each student transmits


Exposition of a previously elaborated content on a theme or themes, the objective of which is to present the information gathered in the targeted sources to an audience, can be the work of a group of students or individually. The written report is generally delivered. The evaluation will be carried out on the basis of the correspondence of the above with the planned objectives, in addition to other important elements.


It consists of the detailed study of a content, with the aim of achieving a deeper understanding of those contents, through which one group exposes and the other listens attentively and notes the insufficiencies, errors and untreated points of view. ; and in a second part, the other group asks questions based on the annotations, makes observations, clarifies and expands on the subject if necessary. The evaluation will be carried out according to the exposition and defense of the exposing team, as well as the quality of the questions, observations, extensions, whether or not they come from the opposing team.


In the same way as in the previous types, the teacher guides the content to study or the problem to solve. Everyone should prepare in the same way, and once the time for the seminar has arrived, a group of students is chosen who will be the experts and who will have to answer the questions that their classmates will elaborate. The choice of the panelists depends on the objectives that are set for the teacher. It is recommended that panel members have prepared to address any part of the content if they wish; however, if the teacher so determines, they can be selected at random. The evaluation will depend, for the panelists, on their answers, and for the other members of the group, on the questions they ask and on their participation, in case some clarification is necessary.

Round table

A large team of 6 or 8 students is organized, which will be made up of experts and will represent the members of their initial teams, who will discuss their points of view on a topic or problem in front of a group, with the active participation of a moderator. The discussion should be informal, taking into account that it is a conversation in and before the public, so improvisation should be avoided. Participants must sit in such a way that they can look at each other and be seen in full by the audience. The points of view may be divergent or contradictory, but on the same subject.

Video debate

Activity very well received by students if properly conceived. It consists of the observation and subsequent debate of a film, a short film or some other filmic material of interest for what it is intended to study. For the development of this activity, the teacher (s) must conceive the objectives to be achieved, they will previously observe as many times as necessary the material that they will later pass on to their students, and then they will prepare a guide that will contain the precise orientations of the actions that Students must develop, which will help them to be motivated to observe with careful attention and to be able to obtain the information that will allow their active participation at the end.

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