Teachers always look for ways that are more effective. Here are five teaching tactics that can become a foundation for your own effective teaching strategy.
Some of them are traditional and some are new. In this article, we are going to describe the importance of setting up clear objectives and expectations. The significance of effective interaction and self-reflection. The usefulness of feedback. Last but not least, effective ways to use technology in a classroom.
First, let’s recognize that one size does not fit all. There is no universally effective teaching strategy. Each student is different. We all are coming from different backgrounds and cultures and we have different mindsets and values. For that reason, it is important to realize that no single approach will work for everyone. In order to be effective, an instructor has to use different tactics to optimize the learning process.
1. Define the objectives and expectations
The teacher needs to map out the learning goals for students. When developing the curriculum for the course, the instructor needs to identify what the students should learn and how they should be able to apply that knowledge. Clear objectives will give students reasons to learn the subject.
After defining the objectives, the next step is to state the expectations. By doing that, teachers provide students with goals to achieve. The goals will develop a sense of purpose and students will be more motivated to accomplish those goals.
When a teacher provides students with clear objectives and realistic expectations, they will be motivated to succeed in class, which will make the learning process much more effective.
Self-reflection is one of the most effective practices to make a person more responsible and organized and it is great for educating students. The students are supposed to reflect on the plans that they had for that period, whether those plans were achieved or not, if not what were the obstacles, and the plans for the upcoming future. It can help students to be more disciplined. Moreover, self-disciplined is going to have a positive impact on the students’ lives.
3. The Importance of Interaction for Creating Effective Teaching Strategy
Interaction — both between student and professor and among students — is key to an effective learning process.
A professor has to engage students in class discussions. Active interactions during the class will help students to focus and not get bored during the lesson. In addition to that, interaction is going to influence their critical thinking.
Meanwhile, the interaction between students is important not only for educational purposes but also for the development of soft skills such as communication and teamwork. Teamwork is one of the most effective ways to make students interact. It provides students with opportunities to learn from each other, give feedback, and evaluate their own work.
There are several methods to encourage interaction in class, including a flipped classroom and case method (also known as design thinking).
In a flipped classroom, students read the material at home and the class time dedicated to questions and discussions. A flipped classroom challenges the idea of the traditional lesson. This type of process makes the environment more like a workshop rather than a standard class. A flipped classroom is a more active learning method. It allows students to cooperate, think independently and then generate ideas. With a flipped classroom style, instructors have an opportunity to work on analytical, implicational, evaluation and other types of cognitive skills. In a flipped classroom, there is an effective combination of both learning the subject and developing their reasoning skills.
A case method approach resolves real live cases. The method is self-explanatory: the case provides information and problems. The students are supposed to read the case, analyze the information and try to come up with some solution to the issue. Then through in-class discussion, the group will come up with a solution. Just like the previous method, the case method is working on students’ cognitive skills. However, it is worth to note that this methodology is more effective on more mature students. Usually, bachelor and master level students are applying this method. Teachers must also choose the cases carefully. Some cases might not have a solution and can be confusing.
4. Value of good feedback
Feedback is an essential part of the learning process. Feedback includes grates, which can be a motivating factor for students. But it also includes comments and suggestions that the instructor gives to the students after reviewing their work. Those comments are more important than grades. When instructors give feedback, they provide a guideline to students to improve their skills by showing them the correct way.
5. Use of technology
Most modern classrooms are already using some level of technology, from online simulation games to fun quizzes. Instructors can play videos or animations to help visualize information. A technology integration strategy can increase the effectiveness of a lesson.
One great strategy is learning through play, also known as gamification. Elementary schools frequently use this method. Although it proves to be effective at any age. The games have to be designed according to the age and knowledge of students. It is applicable to any subject. Besides, a teacher can pick the games from a big variety of existing games. Moreover, creating a game is very easy and takes no time.
Gamification makes studying fun and motivational. It is a very effective education method. Students are learning without realizing it. They stay focused and they learn better.
Also, students are motivated to win. Competition is human nature, both with ourselves and with others. Students can challenge each other to see who will get the highest score. They have fun from the competition while they learn the material.