6 effective teaching methods and how to use them - FutureLearn (2024)

We discuss 6 of the most effective teaching methods so that you can discover which teaching style suits you and your subject area best.

6 effective teaching methods and how to use them - FutureLearn (1)

As we explored in our recent World Teachers Day blog post, teachers are a completely essential part of our society, but teaching can be a difficult and stressful job at times.

Particularly when working with children and teenagers, it can be hard to retain focus, manage behaviour, and encourage active participation. In addition, teaching adults can have its own challenges – it can be difficult for adult learners to absorb new things and change old thinking patterns.

One thing that may help you deal with some of these challenges is learning about the different teaching methods available. You don’t need to pick one method and stick to it, but you may find that certain methods and styles are perfect for different learning environments.

For example, you might find that student-centred learning is perfect for KS2 children, and game-based learning works wonders for KS3. You may discover that using technology such as VR can elevate history and geography lessons, while experiential learning methods can be effective during science experiments and group projects. To find out more, read about our top 6 most effective learning methods below.

1. Online learning

Teaching online may not have been the norm for most teachers before the COVID-19 pandemic, but there have always been some teachers who prefer to work online. Online tutors often enjoy the freedom of working from home, choosing their working hours, and being their own boss.

But what exactly does teaching online consist of? Essentially, it’s the process of educating others using the internet, whether that’s through individual or group video calls, webinars, or messaging platforms. Normally it’ll be a combination of things to keep students engaged.

If you’re thinking about teaching online, or your current job requires you to teach online, you’ll need to be comfortable with technology and the internet. This is because all of your communication will be online, and you’ll need to create digital resources for your students. These resources might be presentations, lesson plans, worksheets, videos or audio lectures.

The great thing about online learning is that it’s accessible to many people. Not everyone is able to go to school, but more people have access to the internet. Of course, technology can be a barrier to education too, but as the years go by, this barrier is, fortunately, breaking down.

The best place to start if you want to learn how to be an excellent online teacher is our highly rated How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students course. You’ll learn how to successfully move from face-to-face teaching to online teaching so that you and your students get the most out of learning.

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2. Experiential learning

If you haven’t heard of experiential learning before, it’s the idea that learning is a product of experience. If it sounds like something that you might be interested in, we have a whole article that explores how to apply experiential learning in the classroom and beyond.

We can only gain experience from interacting and engaging with the world and people around us. This learning theory comes from David Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, and considers the role of all our experiences in learning, from emotions and cognition, to our environment.

Kolb’s 1984 theory suggests that there are four main stages in the learning cycle:

  • Concrete experience. This is when the learner has a new experience, such as riding a bike for the first time.
  • Reflective observation. After the concrete experience, the learner must reflect on their actions and watch others perform that action.
  • Abstract conceptualisation. The next step involves the learner making sense of their reflections and making a plan for going forward. They might come up with next steps and seek insight from experts.
  • Active experimentation. During the final stage, the learner will consider their reflections and previous lessons and then retry the original experience to see if any progress has been made. This will lead to a new concrete experience, and so the cycle restarts.

Experiential learning is a great teaching method because it encourages creativity, helps students learn from mistakes, fosters reflective thinking, and prepares students for future experiences. It can be effective for several subjects, especially during science experiments, sports coaching, and group projects.

Some simple ways to encourage experiential learning in your classroom include encouraging students to assess themselves regularly and reflect on what they’ve learnt. As a teacher, you might want to record yourself teaching or keep feedback journals so that you can reflect on previous lessons.

You can learn more about reflective practices in our open step by the British Council or delve into learning from experience in our open step by the University of South Wales.

3. Differentiation

Differentiated learning is a teaching method that tailors instructions to students depending on their individual needs. This method could be a great option if you’re teaching mixed-ability classes and want everyone to get the most out of each lesson. To become a pro at this teaching method, you can join our Differentiation for Learning course by STEM Learning.

This is a fairly traditional approach to teaching mixed-ability classes, but it can be successful if managed sensitively. For example, some teachers may choose to teach entirely different content depending on student ability. However, this can cause students to feel embarrassed and teachers to feel burned out from trying to do too much at once.

On this note, it’s important for teachers to ensure that they create an inclusive classroom where students of all abilities are welcome, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or disability. Differentiated learning should never be used to make some students feel inferior to others.

A better way to approach differentiation is to teach in a variety of ways, including books, films, images, and verbal presentations. This gives different students the opportunity to get involved and understand the lesson content. You can even go further than that and offer differentiated class activities and assessment styles.

For example, if the class topic is a Shakespeare play, you could allow students to demonstrate their understanding in a number of ways. They could write an essay, give an oral presentation, create an illustration or comic, or play to any other strengths they have.

4. Blended learning

The next teaching method we’ll be exploring is blended learning. Essentially, blended learning is a combination of traditional face-to-face learning and technology-based learning. Although blended learning did exist before the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become more popular with schools and universities in the two years. You can read all about it in our blended learning blog post.

Using a blended learning model can be great for both students and teachers because it forms a middle ground between traditional and technology-based methods. It uses enough technology to keep students focused and interested, but it also provides opportunities for students to talk in-person to teachers and fellow classmates, which can be invaluable.

Some great examples of blended learning include:

  • Station rotation. Students rotate around different ‘stations’ during lessons, with these being a mixture of online and hands-on activities.
  • Flex learning. Students are in class with teachers, but they primarily use online learning methods. Teachers are there for support and instruction whenever needed.
  • Virtual Reality. Students are in a physical classroom but are able to use Virtual Reality (VR) to immerse themselves in an environment. This could be a historical landmark, art gallery, or natural wonder, with the aim of capturing their attention and furthering their learning.
  • Enriched virtual learning. Activities and coursework are completed online using digital technologies, but students can arrange face-to-face sessions when required.

It’s likely that blended learning models will become more predominant as time goes on and our physical and digital lives become increasingly interlinked. If you’re looking for a short course on the subject, you might be interested in our Blended and Online Learning Design course by UCL, or our Making Blended Education Work course by the University of Edinburgh and EMBED.

You may also be interested in our Introduction to HyFlex Learning and Teaching course by the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, which focuses on the innovative HyFlex teaching approach, a combination of hybrid and flexible methods.

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  • University of Cape Town Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion

5. Game-based learning

If you want to focus on making your lessons more fun, engaging and interactive, then look no further. Game-based learning, also known as gamification, is a great way to engage students, particularly those in primary and secondary education.

The definition of gamification is a strategy that implements game-like elements into non-gaming activities to enhance motivation. Since children are very interested in games, from video games and mobile applications to simple playground and board games, this can be a great place to start.

As we explore in our blog post about gamification in education, playing video games has been linked to dopamine production. So, incorporating some ideas from video games into education can actually have positive effects on the mood of students, making them more determined to succeed.

However, it is worth mentioning that gamification shouldn’t necessarily be used in every context. Sometimes, lessons require more serious discussions. In addition, too much game-based learning is likely to remove some of the fun and increased motivation that children feel.

Here are some of the ways you can incorporate game-based learning into your lessons:

  • Points systems
  • Levels and progress bars
  • Challenges and competitions
  • Unique rewards
  • Learning badges

You can find out more about Learning through Play in our course by Federation University.

6. Student-centred learning

You can probably guess what this approach focuses on – your students. While the success and happiness of students is always a high priority for teachers, student-centred learning is different to more traditional teaching methods.

Teacher-centred learning, which is more common, requires the teacher to give classroom instructions and lead the class for the majority of the time. With student-centred learning, students are given more opportunities to choose what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. This is also known as personalised learning.

In student-centred learning approaches, students are encouraged to take an active role in the classroom, rather than taking part in more passive activities like listening to a lecture or writing an essay. They will have lots of discussions with their peers and teachers, and they’ll also be encouraged to ask questions, which is linked to inquiry-based learning.

Some great examples of this kind of approach include students taking part in debates, small group projects, and fun roleplay scenarios together. As a teacher, it’s your job to be an excellent facilitator. You should encourage open communication, curiosity, creativity and exploration. At the end of a classroom activity, the teacher should urge students to reflect on what they’ve learnt.

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Final thoughts

Hopefully, this list of effective teaching methods has given you some ideas to bring to the classroom. You’ll find further details on many of these topics, as well as many more, with our teaching courses. These can help you work on some of the skills that can improve your lesson planning and execution, benefiting you and your students.

6 effective teaching methods and how to use them - FutureLearn (2024)


6 effective teaching methods and how to use them - FutureLearn? ›

These six strategies for effective learning are based on evidence-based research and the science of learning. We will explore: spaced practice, retrieval practice, elaboration, concrete examples, dual coding and interleaving.

What are the 6 strategies for effective teaching? ›

These six strategies for effective learning are based on evidence-based research and the science of learning. We will explore: spaced practice, retrieval practice, elaboration, concrete examples, dual coding and interleaving.

What are effective methods of teaching learning? ›

Experiential learning is a great teaching method because it encourages creativity, helps students learn from mistakes, fosters reflective thinking, and prepares students for future experiences. It can be effective for several subjects, especially during science experiments, sports coaching, and group projects.

What is the important of methods in teaching for you as a future educator? ›

The Importance of Teaching Methods

Teaching methods are the broader techniques used to help students achieve learning outcomes, while activities are the different ways of implementing these methods. Teaching methods help students: master the content of the course. learn how to apply the content in particular contexts.

What are the teaching strategies and methods used in a modern classroom )? ›

Modern Teaching Methods All Educators Should Know
  • Flipped Classroom. Let's start with the most popular modern teaching technique. ...
  • Tactile Learning. ...
  • VAK Learning. ...
  • Project-Based Learning. ...
  • Problem-Based Learning. ...
  • Collaborative Learning. ...
  • Cooperative Learning. ...
  • Game-Based Learning.
Oct 31, 2022

What are the six 6 strategies for intentional teaching? ›

What are some intentional teaching strategies?
  • Engaging with scaffolding.
  • Learning through questioning.
  • Challenging individual children's abilities and knowledge.
  • Researching and learning together.
  • Actively listening.
  • Strategically planning.
  • Revising on all learning experiences.”
Dec 22, 2022

What are some examples of effective teaching strategies? ›

List of teaching strategies for elementary and middle school
  • Know your students and develop their respect. ...
  • Appropriate use of summative and formative assessments. ...
  • Teach the vocabulary. ...
  • Explicit instruction. ...
  • Effective questioning techniques. ...
  • Deliberate practice. ...
  • Differentiation. ...
  • Reinforcing effort/providing recognition.

What is the most effective learning method? ›

The Most Effective Learning Techniques

Based on decades of learning science research, the two most effective methods known to date are: Spaced practice / distributed practice – learning that occurs over multiple sessions at different points in time (for example, revisiting a textbook chapter once every three days).

What are the 5 characteristics of highly effective teaching? ›

The teams looked at the research that establishes these characteristics and have organized them around five components: learning climate; classroom assessment and reflection; instructional rigor and student engagement; instructional relevance; and knowledge of content.

What are the 3 main teaching methods? ›

In essence, the three teaching styles boil down to this:
  • Direct — Tell students what to do.
  • Discuss — Ask questions and listen.
  • Delegate — Empower students.
Sep 30, 2013

What are the 5 teaching methods? ›

In the contemporary classroom, five distinct teaching styles have emerged as the primary strategies adopted by modern teachers: The Authority Style, The Delegator Style, The Facilitator Style, The Demonstrator Style and The Hybrid Style.

What teaching styles is more effective in teaching the students? ›

The Hybrid style of teaching incorporates the student's preferences, diversity, backgrounds, personalities, and interests to address a topic of study. This is an effective teaching style as it meets the needs of all the students and encourages them to indulge in active discussions.

What is the best teaching strategy to be used in teaching why? ›

The single most impactful teaching strategy when used correctly, feedback (whether from the teacher or another source e.g. peer marking) needs to be specific, encouraging and actionable – pupils need to be able to understand where they could improve, and how.

What are the methods of teaching still used today? ›

What are types of Modern Teaching Method? Collaborative Learning, Spaced Learning, Flipped Classroom, Self Learning, Gamification, VAK teaching, and Crossover Learning are various types of Modern Teaching Method.

What techniques strategies and methods promote student learning? ›

Establishing the Optimal Learning Environment
  • Having compassion and empathy. ...
  • Creating a secure and dependable structure. ...
  • Ramping up the positive. ...
  • Supporting academic risk. ...
  • Teaching active listening. ...
  • Embedding strategy instruction. ...
  • Building collaborative relationships.

What is the difference between teaching methods and teaching approaches? ›

Furthermore, approach sets the general rule or general principle to make learning possible. A method, on the other hand, is an organized, orderly, systematic, and well- planned procedure aimed at facilitating and enhancing students' learning.

What are the 6 principles of teaching? ›

Six Principles for Teacher Education
  • Knowledge. Effective teachers possess a well-grounded knowledge of the content areas that are central to their teaching. ...
  • Learning Environment. ...
  • Personalized Learning. ...
  • Community. ...
  • Critical Reflection. ...
  • Growth.

What are the 6 C's of teaching? ›

Researchers and education experts have outlined the Cs about the education in the 21st Century, and they cover: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, citizenship/ culture, and character education/connectivity. What does each C mean, however?

What are the 6 common stages of teaching cycle? ›

PTLC comprises six steps—study, select, plan, implement, analyze, and adjust.

What are the 9 teaching strategies? ›

9 Teaching Strategies That Help Students Learn Effectively
  • Inquiry-Based Model.
  • Storyboarding.
  • Peer Tutoring and Assessment.
  • Brainstorming.
  • Reflections.
  • Student-Led Classes.
  • Visual Aids.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach.
Jan 10, 2021

What is an example of method and strategy in teaching? ›

There are a variety of teaching methods and strategies available to instructors to help their students learn or develop knowledge and skills. Some examples of teaching methods and strategies include: lectures, seminars, project-based instruction, dictation, and assignments.

What are the key elements of effective teaching? ›

Effective teaching involves aligning the three major components of instruction: learning objectives, assessments, and instructional activities. Taking the time to do this upfront saves time in the end and leads to a better course.

What are the ten traits of highly effective teachers? ›

In this article, the author lists the 10 traits highly effective teachers possess: (1) Mobile; (2) Organized; (3) Patient; (4) Challenging; (5) Adaptive; (6) Syntactic; (7) Passionate; (8) Interactive; (9) Serious; and (10) Caring.

How do you motivate students? ›

Tips On How To Motivate Your Students
  1. Become a role model for student interest. ...
  2. Get to know your students. ...
  3. Use examples freely. ...
  4. Use a variety of student-active teaching activities. ...
  5. Set realistic performance goals. ...
  6. Place appropriate emphasis on testing and grading. ...
  7. Be free with praise and constructive in criticism.

What are the 7 ways of learning? ›

The 7 styles of the theory are:
  • visual.
  • kinaesthetic.
  • aural.
  • social.
  • solitary.
  • verbal.
  • logical.
Jul 1, 2021

What are the 4 methods of learning? ›

There are 4 predominant learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinaesthetic. While most of us may have some general idea about how we learn best, often it comes as a surprise when we discover what our predominant learning style is.

What are the four 4 types of instructional methods? ›

Do you know what the four types of instructional methods are? The four types are information processing, behavioral, social interaction, and personal. Within each model, several strategies can be used. Strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives.

What is the daily 5 teaching method? ›

The Daily 5 is a structure for learning. It has 5 components that can be taught daily: 1) read to self, 2) read to someone, 3) listen to reading, 4) word work, and 5) writing.

What is the 4 step teaching method? ›

Peyton's teaching approach is a stepwise teaching approach and consists of the following four steps: demonstration, deconstruction, comprehension and performance.

What is the best teaching style? ›

The best teaching styles include being empathetic with students, motivating them to learn, hearing their complaints, and giving them direct instruction. Encourage students to ask questions and provide you with feedback.

What makes a great teacher? ›

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

What are two core teaching strategies? ›

Top 5 Teaching Strategies
  • Differentiated Instruction: Learning Stations. Differentiated instruction strategies allow teachers to engage each student by accommodating to their specific learning style. ...
  • Cooperative Learning: The Jigsaw Method. ...
  • Utilizing Technology in the Classroom. ...
  • Inquiry-Based Instruction. ...
  • Graphic Organizers.
Oct 3, 2019

How do students learn best in the classroom? ›

Students learn by connecting new knowledge with knowledge and concepts that they already know, most effectively in active social classrooms where they negotiate understanding through interaction and varied approaches.

Which of the following is the most modern teaching methods? ›

Project: The project method of teaching is one of the modern methods of teaching in which the curriculum content is considered from the child's point of view and is related to his needs and interest in the context of real-life situations.

What are two modern methods of teaching? ›

18 Modern teaching methods to explore
  • Direct Instruction. Best for: All ages, when combined with other teaching methods. ...
  • Flipped classrooms. ...
  • Kinesthetic learning. ...
  • Game-based learning. ...
  • Student-centered learning. ...
  • Teacher-centered learning. ...
  • Inquiry-based learning. ...
  • Personalized learning.
Jul 13, 2021

What are the 10 methods of teaching adults? ›

15 Strategies for Teaching Adult Learners
  • Keep your lessons relevant.
  • Tell stories as you're teaching.
  • Break up the information to avoid cognitive overload.
  • Get everyone involved.
  • Keep them engaged.
  • Focus on your learners' life experience.
  • Be mindful of different learning styles.
  • Make your material visually stimulating.

What are some of the most effective methods or strategies you would use to give students feedback on their assignments? ›

When giving students feedback, keep these tips in mind:
  • Praise their efforts, not their talents. ...
  • Mistakes and errors don't need to feel negative. ...
  • Be specific. ...
  • Explain feedback wherever possible. ...
  • Start with a clear goal. ...
  • Keep it timely. ...
  • Feedback isn't just for finished work. ...
  • Give feedback one-on-one.
Oct 18, 2021

What is an example of a teaching style? ›

Other examples of teaching styles examples include inquiry-based, didactic, democratic, facilitative, and andragogic (the art of teaching adults).

What are the 4 C's teaching strategies? ›

The 21st century learning skills are often called the 4 C's: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond.

What are the 6 major language learning strategies? ›

There are six major strategy categories: memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, affective, and social. Under each of these general categories is a set of less complex strategies that are considered to be more basic learning strategies.

What are the big four teaching practices? ›

The result of Jim Knight's research exploration and development was a simple framework – the Big Four, addressing Content Planning, Formative Assessment, Instruction, and Community Building.

What are the 4 frameworks of effective teaching? ›

The Framework for Teaching (FFT) is a set of components that outlines a teacher's responsibilities. It's divided into four domains: Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities.

What is the 4 step pattern in teaching? ›

The four-stage approach to teaching skills
  • Silent run through in which teacher performs without commentary;
  • teacher then performs while commentating;
  • teacher then performs with commentary from student(s);
  • finally student performs and commentates.
Dec 11, 2010

What are the six 6 language teaching principles teachers must use as guide for effective language acquisition and learning to take place? ›

  • Principle 1. Know your learners.
  • Principle 2. Create conditions for language learning.
  • Principle 3. Design high-quality lessons for language development.
  • Principle 4. Adapt lesson delivery as needed.
  • Principle 5. Monitor and assess student language development.
  • Principle 6.

What are the 6 basic strategies of functional literacy? ›

The six basic strategies for developing literacy include making connections, visualizing, questioning, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing.

What are the 6 components of language? ›

In the broadest definition, oral language consists of six areas: phonology, grammar, morphology, vocabulary, discourse, and pragmatics. The acquisition of these skills often begins at a young age, before students begin focusing on print-based concepts such as sound-symbol correspondence and decoding.

What is the 7 step teaching method? ›

The seven steps are: (1) Reading and/or listening to a story; (2) Defining and visualizing words; (3) Identifying parts of speech; (4) Categorizing words; (5) Completing cloze activities; (6) Producing a skit or creating a visual; and (7) Playing a word game with new words.

What are the 7 present day teaching methods? ›

List Of Teaching Methods
  • Teacher-Centered Instruction. ...
  • Small Group Instruction. ...
  • Student-Centered / Constructivist Approach. ...
  • Project-Based Learning. ...
  • Montessori. ...
  • Inquiry-Based Learning. ...
  • Flipped Classroom. ...
  • Cooperative Learning.

What are 7 ES teaching strategies? ›

The 7E Instructional Strategy

These phases, Elicit, Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate and Extend, according to Gok et al. (2014), allows students to correct their misconceptions through exploration, and facilitate clarification by the teacher, and aided by explanations by the students themselves.


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