Methods of Instruction

Methods of Instruction

Most classrooms have a multitude of students with different learning styles who need to be motivated and actively engaged in different ways. By diversifying how we design and facilitate our lessons, we can personalize the experience for more of our students.

  1. Simulations—if the resources are available, a simulation of an actual experience the student will encounter in the workplace is a powerful learning tool. These work well if teaching a very specific skill and allow you as a teacher to accurately monitor and give feedback to the student to help them master that skill.
  2. Online Learning—Many courses are available online, such as this one. A simple Google search of online learning will bring up a multitude of options. If you are teaching with a textbook, chances are there is an online learning component available with that textbook—perhaps something to look into. Online learning allows students to work at their own pace. But a word of caution: check out the resource prior to putting students on it. Sometimes links are no longer working or the content is not what you thought it would be based on the title.
  3. Modeling—Showing the students exactly what you expect by modeling a skill or an expectation will clearly set the standard you anticipate on the task. The visual and kinesthetic, or hands-on, learners will really tap into your actions and movements and will have a very clear picture as to what you expect of them.
  4. Demonstrations—When resources are more limited, a demonstration is a great way to show a skill or knowledge set. To get students involved, have them do parts of the demonstration with your guidance. Engage in discussion with the class as the demonstration is happening to further ensure understanding.
  5. Educational Videos—YouTube, TeacherTube and other online video resources provide access to videos about a wide variety of topics, and they are easy to incorporate for classroom use. With a simple search, videos that range from oversimplified to excessive detail on a multitude of concepts can be found. The visual learners will again tap into this learning style and it gives one more way for the information to reach our learners from another venue. Make sure to review the video prior to using it, and make sure it is at the appropriate level that you desire. You can pause, play, rewind, move forward so easily with online sources.
  6. Project Based Learning—For this method, the teacher sets up one or multiple big projects that the students will work on, typically in groups. This method greatly enhances rigor and takes some planning and good management on your part to make sure it stays relevant throughout the process of the project. Depending on the type of classroom, this may be very relevant as many of our students may have future occupations that are entirely project based. With project based learning, you as the teacher become more of a manager of student progress and a facilitator of student learning. For more information on how to manage and assess project based learning, click here.
  7. Inquiry—If teaching a science-based curriculum, this method will work quite well. The idea of inquiry is that the students work through the scientific method with facilitation from the teacher. Basically, the learning is more student discovery and less teacher led. Click here for a continuum of inquiry education.
  8. Lecture—Lecturing is inevitable as an educator. It can be very purposeful when used to disseminate factual information, but should not be the only method of educating a class. The auditory learners will do very well with a lecture, but the visual and kinesthetic (hands-on) learners will not follow it for very long.

A combination that uses multiple methods of instruction for each lesson would be the best way to reach each individual students and tap into their individual motivations. A general rule of thumb in education is to never let a student sit at one task for more than 20 minutes. This obviously does not work in every situation, but it does work for the majority of classes. If we keep the body moving and directed, the mind will work the same way.

For more instructional strategies, check out the Instructional Strategies link.

Last modified: Friday, 20 July 2012, 11:04 AM