One teaching strategy that can be successfully implemented both in-person and online is the active learning approach. The idea behind this learning style is to engage students in the learning process so that, rather than passively receiving information (and retaining a questionable amount), students connect with the material and master it.
According to the Prodigy Game blog, active learning relies on eight main strategies. These are:
In these environments, teachers and students can ask questions, lead discussions and learn collectively.
Also known as the three-step interview, cooperative learning is like reciprocal questioning, except that students ask each other the questions and lead discussions among themselves, sometimes independently of the teacher.
With this approach, instructors take a breather every 10 or 15 minutes to let students reflect, discuss or reread materials and then contemplate them so they can better process and digest the information.
This technique involves asking students to concentrate on what is most unclear, confusing or difficult about a classroom discussion point. For example, this might be how to apply a specific rule of grammar to written text. From there, students discuss their struggles aloud or write out their issues with it so a teacher can see what’s wrong or missing from the student’s understanding.
This approach involves taking an opposing viewpoint and then trying to see “the other side” via debate or, more often, essay or other written form. This approach works best with controversial themes in history, current events, literature and related subjects.
By exploring an opposite viewpoint—and then debating or defending it—students learn to think critically and listen actively.
Because you have to learn something thoroughly in order to teach it, this type of activity can be very effective. Students can role-play, “buddy up” to study or actually teach one another assigned content or lessons.
- Game-based learning platforms
Everyone loves games, right? In an educational setting, games let students learn by doing — and have fun while they do it.
This can look a variety of ways. For instance, students may compete to solve a math problem faster. Or they may submit versions of the ending of a story and have others vote on the best one. (Following the latter, the teacher might ask students to explain why they think a piece of writing was more effective and popular.)
- Rotating chair group discussions
“Rotating chair group discussions encourage students to actively listen to selected speakers who follow a pattern of guiding class discussion and summarizing previous points,” explains the Prodigy blog. “Students lead and stimulate class discussion as they ‘rotate’ roles, repeatedly selecting the following speaker.”