Teaching Methodologies and Ideas That Will Make Teaching and Learning More Effective - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Teaching Methodologies and Ideas That Will Make Teaching and Learning More Effective

A teacher’s primary job is capturing their students’ attention, conveying new ideas effectively, and ensuring they retain the information they get. A common challenge for teachers is finding new ways to do all three in a world where students are bombarded by a lot of information as the world changes faster than it used to. New teaching methodologies and ideas are being used to improve learning environments and outcomes by driving better academic achievements and performance. There is an endless list of the ways in which teachers can achieve their primary objectives, and we will look at some of the more common ones below.

Design Thinking and Creative Teaching

Teaching has always been a very innovative space with teachers using lessons learned from other disciplines to ensure better outcomes. One of these methods is design thinking, which is used to identify the unique challenges each student faces. After these challenges have been identified, the teacher then comes up with unique solutions tailor-made for each student.

Creative teaching uses tools that are available to stimulate creative thinking in each student. Using these tools, teachers can come with individual teaching plans for each student while encouraging each of them to present different ideas and explore new areas of learning. Design thinking and creative learning are both based on the understanding that each student is different and, therefore, the ways in which each student is taught should be tailored to their unique challenges and needs.

Competency-Based Learning

Although exams, assignments and assessments have been used since most education systems were introduced, it is still important to take a look at them and find ways to improve how they are used. Most education systems use a teach-and-test methodology. Once students are taught, they are then given some form of assignment or assessment that they are graded upon and these grades determine how successful they are academic.

An obvious shortfall of this style of teaching and testing is memorizing for exams. What happens in most cases is that students memorize information, reproduce the information on an answer sheet and forget it soon after.

Competence-based learning seeks to change this because it introduces strategies that ensure students can apply the knowledge they get and integrate it into their lives. This is done by checking for the application of knowledge rather than whether students have this information. Practical assessments are a good way of doing this as they also help students anchor what they are learning to the real world.

Learning for the Real World

A common complaint brought up by students is whether they will use what they learn in their lives or careers. It is common to hear students complain of being required to learn algebra while the careers they are interested in will not require its application. To help solve these problems, teachers can show students how what they are learning can be applied in real life.

Demonstrating information and lessons through real-world examples not only makes the material interesting, but it also makes it a lot more relevant to the students, and they get to understand why they are learning certain topics.

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning can take many forms, but one of the most common ones is putting students in groups. The theory behind doing this is that students who work in a group pay closer attention, acquire knowledge easily and are involved in the learning process.

Cooperative learning, when applied to groups, requires a group of up to 6 students, with each student having a specific role. All these roles should be structured in a way that ensures the students can work together to achieve a goal. The final goal should be to ensure each student can perform their tasks successfully.

Brainstorming sessions are another great way to encourage cooperative learning but in a bigger group. Here, a whole class can participate with the main goal being to give students an avenue to flex their creative muscles and come up with creative ideas and solutions. Brainstorming sessions work great where the teacher needs to involve all students in a discussion without the students having to worry if what they say is right or not.

Brainstorming can also be applied to smaller groups of up to 6 people and it is often encouraged when students encounter a new subject or when the teachers need them to think about a concept from different angles.

Role Playing

Role playing has proven to be an effective teaching methodology that helps students get out of their comfort zones. It has also to been a great tool in helping students develop interpersonal skills. Role playing can help students see how they could apply the topics taught in the real world. Role playing stands out because it is a simple teaching methodology that is effective for students of all ages. A teacher only needs to tailor the methodology to their students to account for comprehension levels and attention span length.

Flipped Classrooms

Flipped classrooms is a modern teaching methodology that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. This methodology involves flipping teaching and learning where materials and topics are studied at home and then explored, worked on and explained in the classroom.

This methodology is mainly used to save time in the classroom or to make better use of that time. It can also be used to give students enough time to do further research on a topic before they come to class. That way, only the most difficult concepts are discussed or new material expounded further. Flipped classrooms are also used to take into account the different learning needs of each student, introduce specific concepts, or help students work in individual projects.

Open Up Your World

Becoming a much more effective teacher means being able to keep improving your teaching methodologies or coming up with new methodologies that have a positive impact on the students you are responsible for. Open-mindedness allows teachers to do just that, as does acquiring new skills. Furthering your education by taking an online masters in education gives an insight into new teaching methodologies, new ways of interacting with your students, as well as new ways of shaping their future. The Masters in Education program from the University of Exeter helps you learn how to do all this and more. The best thing about this program is that it is also perfect for people who are interested in education or who would like to be employed in an educational setting.

Gamification

Integrating games into teaching has been done for a long time. Studies have already shown that games and puzzles not only make learning fun and improve students’ involvement, but they also help with information retention and the ability to see how different pieces of information fit together. When applied to highly technical or difficult subjects and topics, gamification can also reduce the amount of effort students require to learn these subjects and topics. Gamification has also been shown to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills when students are faced with new challenges.

Gamification in the education sector has changed and improved a lot over the past few years, with the evolution of video games and gaming platforms lauded for these changes and improvements.

Games with an educational component to them have gained a lot of popularity, which has led developers to develop more gaming content for use in education settings. The increasing addition of gamification to school curricular is expected to continue growing well into the future.

Audio and Visual Tools

While technology has allowed for the proliferation of games into school curricula, it has also led to an increase in the use of audio and video material in the classroom. Audio-visual material, when used as teaching tools, are used in addition to textbooks to give students a clever understanding of a subject or topic. Ideally, videos, models, pictures, movies, and other tools should contain concepts that are broken down into bite-sized pieces of information. This way, it becomes easier for the students to understand and internalise this information.

Audio-visual tools can also be used to help enhance creativity and imagination. The good news here is that with how advanced technology has become, there are apps and software that provide educational content and that allow you to create such content if you wish.

Audio-visual tools can also be used in storyboarding. Storyboarding is where storyboards are used to teach subjects that require the memorisation of steps or to help with the visualisation of difficult-to-understand concepts. A good example of where storyboarding can offer massive benefits is in the teaching of history lessons. Students need to remember historical events in the order they happened, and storyboarding can help with that.

Storyboarding can also be used to encourage students to demonstrate what they have learned through the use of their own storyboards. This is much better than exams because there is no pressure to do well and students can let their imagination and creativity roam free while they present their understanding of a topic in the best way they know-how.

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning, like most other modern teaching methodologies, arose from the revision of existing teaching methodologies. In project-based learning, students are presented with real-world challenges, and they have to find viable solutions to solve the challenges. By doing this, project-based learning has been shown to lead to a better understanding of a subject’s material as well as connecting theories and abstract information to real-world scenarios.

Project-based learning pushes students to think “outside the box” which fosters communication and collaboration and helps develop and improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Creating a Stimulating Learning Environment

Students, especially young ones, require some mental stimulation for them to learn and think better. A stimulating learning environment should be well-decorated, engaging and fun for the students. A stimulating and creative learning environment allows students to explore, which encourages them to take an interest in learning a subject.

A stimulating learning environment should also allow students to engage with each other. Although this can be done through group and brainstorming sessions as discussed above, it can also be done by the simple act of allowing students to ask and answer questions. The aim of doing this is to make the students feel like they are part of the teaching and learning process rather than the recipients of the information.

A stimulating learning environment does not have to be a classroom either. Some topics are best understood when they are taught outside the classroom. Teaching methodologies such as taking students on field trips or for a walk in nature can make for an informal teaching setting, which can be a welcome break from the usual classroom setting.

Community Partnerships

Community partnerships are becoming an important part of the way students are taught to deal with the real world. Real-world professionals and members of the surrounding community can come in to help students solve real-world problems by helping them apply the knowledge they have on different sets of problems and projects. Doing this also allows older students to be engaged as leaders and citizens in ways that help them retain what they have learned in class. Community partnerships also allow students to feel like they are part of the community, which can have the added benefit of the students developing solutions that benefit the communities that surround their schools.

Tailored Teaching Approaches

Every teacher has a teaching style that works best for them. However, teachers are beginning to understand that they need to tailor their teaching styles for the students they engage with the most. An authority teaching style that involves teachers doing most of the work is good for older students but would not apply to younger ones. The group teaching methodology would work for subjects that require student collaboration, lab activities or group activities, but not for some others. Regardless of the teaching methodology that works best for you, it is always important to remember to tailor your teaching style to better serve your students.

In an ever-evolving world, there is a need for teachers and educators to find ways that improve teaching and learning outcomes. Although they can come up with new teaching methodologies and ideas, in most cases, a simple revision of what already works is good enough.


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