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Learning strategies Essay

Learning or instructional strategies determine the approach for achieving the learning objectives and are included in the pre-instructional activities, information presentation, learner activities, testing, and follow-through. The strategies are usually tied to the needs and interests of students to enhance learning and are based on many types of learning styles (Ekwensi, Moranski, &Townsend-Sweet, 2006). Thus the learning objectives point you towards the instructional strategies, while the instructional strategies will point you to the medium that will actually deliver the instruction, such as elearning, self-study, classroom, or OJT.

However, do not fall into the trap of using only one medium when designing your course. . . use a blended approach. Although some people use the terms interchangeably, objectives, strategies, and media, all have separate meanings. For example, your learning objective might be “Pull the correct items for a customer order;” the instructional strategies are a demonstration, have a question and answer period, and then receive hands-on practice by actually performing the job, while the media might be a combination of elearning and OJT.

The Instructional Strategy Selection Chart shown below is a general guideline for selecting the learning strategy. It is based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (Learning Domains). The matrix generally runs from the passive learning methods (top rows) to the more active participation methods (bottom rows. Bloom’s Taxonomy (the right three columns) runs from top to bottom, with the lower level behaviors being on top and the higher behaviors being on the bottom. That is, there is a direct correlation in learning: Lower levels of performance can normally be taught using the more passive learning methods.

Higher levels of performance usually require some sort of action or involvement by the learners. Instructional Strategy Selection Chart Instructional Strategy Cognitive Domain (Bloom, 1956) Affective Domain (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1973) Psychomotor Domain (Simpson, 1972) Lecture, reading, audio/visual, demonstration, or guided observations, question and answer period 1. Knowledge 1. Receiving phenomena 1. Perception 2. Set Discussions, multimedia CBT, Socratic didactic method, reflection. Activities such as surveys, role playing, case studies, fishbowls, etc. 2.

Comprehension 3. Application 2. Responding to phenomena 3. Guided response 4. Mechanism On-the-Job-Training (OJT), practice by doing (some direction or coaching is required), simulated job settings (to include CBT simulations) 4. Analysis 3. Valuing 5. Complex response Use in real situations. Also may be trained by using several high level activities coupled with OJT. 5. Synthesis 4. Organize values into priorities 6. Adaptation Normally developed on own (informal learning) through self-study or learning through mistakes, but mentoring and coaching can speed the process.

6. Evaluation 5. Internalizing values 7. Origination The chart does not cover all possibilities, but most activities should fit in. For example, self-study could fall under reading, audio visual, and/or activities, depending upon the type of program you design Instructional Skills: What are Instructional Skills? Instructional skills are the most specific category of teaching behaviors. They are necessary for procedural purposes and for structuring appropriate learning experiences for students. A variety of instructional skills and processes exist.

Explaining Demonstrating Questioning Questioning Techniques Levels of Questions Wait Time Explaining The teacher spends much classroom time explaining or demonstrating something to the whole class, a small group, or an individual. Student resource materials typically do not provide extensive explanations of concepts, and students often need a demonstration in order to understand procedures. Demonstrating The teacher spends much classroom time explaining or demonstrating something to the whole class, a small group, or an individual.

Student resource materials typically do not provide extensive explanations of concepts, and students often need a demonstration in order to understand procedures. Questioning Among the instructional skills, questioning holds a place of prominence in many classrooms. When questioning is used well: a high degree of student participation occurs as questions are widely distributed; an appropriate mix of low and high level cognitive questions is used; student understanding is increased; student thinking is stimulated, directed, and extended; feedback and appropriate reinforcement occur;students’ critical thinking abilities are honed; and, student creativity is fostered.

Questioning Technique The teacher should begin by obtaining the attention of the students before the question is asked. The question should be addressed to the entire class before a specific student is asked to respond. Calls for responses should be distributed among volunteers and non-volunteers, and the teacher should encourage students to speak to the whole class when responding. However, the teacher must be sensitive to each student’s willingness to speak publically and never put a student on the spot.

Levels of Questions While the need for factual recall or comprehension must be recognized, teachers also need to challenge students with higher level questions requiring analysis, synthesis, or evaluation. The consideration of level is applicable at all grade levels and in all subject areas. All students need the opportunity to think about and respond to all levels of questions. Teacher probes or requests for clarification may be required to move students to higher levels of thinking and deeper levels of understanding.

Wait Time Wait time is defined as the pause between asking the question and soliciting a response. Providing additional wait time after a student response also allows all students to reflect on the response prior to further discussion. Increased wait time results in longer student responses, more appropriate unsolicited responses, more student questions, and increased higher order responses. It should be noted that increased wait time is beneficial for students who speak English as a second language or English as a second dialect. Instructional Strategies: 1.

Direct instruction 2. Indirect instruction 3. Interactive instruction 4. Independent study 5. Experiential learning 1. What is Direct Instruction? The Direct instruction strategy is highly teacher-directed and is among the most commonly used. This strategy is effective for providing information or developing step-by-step skills. It also works well for introducing other teaching methods, or actively involving students in knowledge construction. Possible Methods Structured Overview Lecture Explicit Teaching Drill & Practice Compare & Contrast Didactic Questions.

Demonstrations Guided & Shared – reading, listening, viewing, thinking What is Structured Overview? Structured Overview is verbal, visual or written summary or outline of a topic. It can occur at the beginning of a unit, module or new concept, or it may be used to help relate a learned idea to the big picture. A Structured Overview distills difficult or complex idea into simple definitions or explanation, and then shows how all the information relates. It is the process of “organizing and arranging topics” to make them more meaningful. What is Lecture?

Lecture is a valuable part of a teacher’s instructional repertoire if it is not used when other methods would be more effective. If the presenter is knowledgeable, perceptive, engaging, and motivating, then lecture can stimulate reflection, challenge the imagination, and develop curiosity and a sense of inquiry. Criteria for the selection of the lecture method should include the types of experiences students will be afforded and the kinds of learning outcomes expected. Because lecture is teacher-centred and student activity is mainly passive, the attention span of students may be limited.

Many students, because of learning style preferences, may not readily assimilate lecture content. In addition, lectured content is often rapidly forgotten. What is Explicit Teaching? Explicit teaching involves directing student attention toward specific learning in a highly structured environment. It is teaching that is focused on producing specific learning outcomes. Topics and contents are broken down into small parts and taught individually. It involves explanation, demonstration and practise. Children are provided with guidance and structured frameworks.

Topics are taught in a logical order and directed by the teacher. Another important characteristic of explicit teaching involves modeling skills and behaviours and modelling thinking. This involves the teacher thinking out loud when working through problems and demonstrating processes for students. The attention of students is important and listening and observation are key to success. What is Drill & Practice? As an instructional strategy, drill & practice is familiar to all educators. It “promotes the acquisition of knowledge or skill through repetitive practice.

” It refers to small tasks such as the memorization of spelling or vocabulary words, or the practicing of arithmetic facts and may also be found in more supplicated learning tasks or physical education games and sports. Drill-and-practice, like memorization, involves repetition of specific skills, such as addition and subtraction, or spelling. To be meaningful to learners, the skills built through drill-and-practice should become the building blocks for more meaningful learning. What is Compare & Contrast? Compare and Contrast is used to highlight similarities and differences between to things.

It is a process where the act of classification is practiced. It is effectively used in conjunction with indirect instructional methods, but can also be used directly to teach vocabulary signals, classification, nomenclature and key characteristics. It is often presented in either written text paragraphs or a chart. Its most common use is as a graphic organizer of content. What are Didactic Questions? Didactic questioning offers the teacher a way to structure the learning process (McNeil & Wiles, 1990). Didactic questions tend to be convergent, factual, and often begin with “what,” “where,” “when,” and “how.

” They can be effectively used to diagnose recall and comprehension skills, to draw on prior learning experiences, to determine the extent to which lesson objectives were achieved, to provide practice, and to aid retention of information or processes. Teachers should remember that didactic questions can be simplistic, can encourage guessing, and can discourage insightful answers or creativity. However, effectiveness of this method can be increased by the appropriate addition of “why” questions, and the occasional use of “what if” questions. What is Demonstration?

A method of teaching by example rather than simple explanation What are Guided and Share? Prioritizes intrinsic motivation and helps students to become more engaged in learning experiences through connecting their beliefs and life goals to curricular requirements 2. What is Indirect Instruction? In contrast to the direct instruction strategy, indirect instruction is mainly student-centered, although the two strategies can complement each other. Indirect instruction seeks a high level of student involvement in observing, investigating, drawing inferences from data, or forming hypotheses.

It takes advantage of students’ interest and curiosity, often encouraging them to generate alternatives or solve problems. In indirect instruction, the role of the teacher shifts from lecturer/director to that of facilitator, supporter, and resource person. The teacher arranges the learning environment, provides opportunity for student involvement, and, when appropriate, provides feedback to students while they conduct the inquiry (Martin, 1983). Possible Methods Problem Solving Case Studies Reading for Meaning Inquiry Reflective Discussion Writing to Inform Concept Formation Concept Mapping.

Concept Attainment Cloze Procedure What is Problem Solving? There are two major types of problem solving – reflective and creative. Regardless of the type of problem solving a class uses, problem solving focuses on knowing the issues, considering all possible factor and finding a solution. Because all ideas are accepted initially, problem solving allows for finding the best possible solution as opposed to the easiest solution or the first solution proposed. What are Case Studies? Case studies are stories or scenarios, often in narrative form, created and used as a tool for analysis and discussion.

They have a long tradition of use in higher education particularly in business and law. Cases are often based on actual events which adds a sense of urgency or reality. Case studies have elements of simulations but the students are observers rather than participants. A good case has sufficient detail to necessitate research and to stimulate analysis from a variety of viewpoints or perspectives. They place the learner in the position of problem solver. Students become actively engaged in the materials discovering underlying issues, dilemmas and conflict issues. What is Reading for Meaning?

Children become curious about printed symbols once they recognize that print, like talk, conveys meaningful messages that direct, inform or entertain people. By school age, many children are eager to continue their exploration of print. One goal of this curriculum is to develop fluent and proficient readers who are knowledgeable about the reading process. What is Inquiry? Inquiry learning provides opportunities for students to experience and acquire processes through which they can gather information about the world.

This requires a high level of interaction among the learner, the teacher,the area of study, available resources, and the learning environment. Students become actively involved in the learning process as they: act upon their curiosity and interests; develop questions; think their way through controversies or dilemmas; look at problems analytically; inquire into their preconceptions and what they already know; develop, clarify, and test hypotheses; and, draw inferences and generate possible solutions. Questioning is the heart of inquiry learning. Students must ask relevant questions and develop ways to search for answers and generate explanations.

Emphasis is placed upon the process of thinking as this applies to student interaction with issues, data, topics, concepts, materials, and problems. What is Reflective Discussion ? Reflective discussions encourage students to think and talk about what they have observed, heard or read. The teacher or student initiates the discussion by asking a question that requires students to reflect upon and interpret films, experiences, read or recorded stories, or illustrations. As students question and recreate information and events in a film or story, they clarify their thoughts and feelings.

The questions posed should encourage students to relate story content to life experiences and to other stories. These questions will elicit personal interpretations and feelings. Interpretations will vary, but such variances demonstrate that differences of opinion are valuable. What is Writing to Inform? Writing that reports information to others can vary greatly in content and format. Many learning experiences culminate in expository or informative writing activities. Students must have opportunities to read a variety of resources and printed materials for information.

During writing, students can apply their knowledge of the structures and formats of these materials to organize and convey information. What is Concept Formation ? Concept formation provides students with an opportunity to explore ideas by making connections and seeing relationships between items of information. This method can help students develop and refine their ability to recall and discriminate among key ideas, to see commonalities and identify relationships, to formulate concepts and generalizations, to explain how they have organized data, and to present evidence to support their organization of the data involved.

What are Concept Maps? A concept map is a special form of a web diagram for exploring knowledge and gathering and sharing information. Concept mapping is the strategy employed to develop a concept map. A concept map consists of nodes or cells that contain a concept, item or question and links. The links are labeled and denote direction with an arrow symbol. The labeled links explain the relationship between the nodes. The arrow describes the direction of the relationship and reads like a sentence. What is Concept Attainment? Concept Attainment is an indirect instructional strategy that uses a structured inquiry process.

It is based on the work of Jerome Bruner. In concept attainment, students figure out the attributes of a group or category that has already been formed by the teacher. To do so, students compare and contrast examples that contain the attributes of the concept with examples that do not contain those attributes. They then separate them into two groups. Concept attainment, then, is the search for and identification of attributes that can be used to distinguish examples of a given group or category from non-examples. What is Cloze Procedure?

Cloze procedure is a technique in which words are deleted from a passage according to a word-count formula or various other criteria. The passage is presented to students, who insert words as they read to complete and construct meaning from the text. This procedure can be used as a diagnostic reading assessment technique. It is used: to identify students’ knowledge and understanding of the reading process to determine which cueing systems readers effectively employ to construct meaning from print to assess the extent of students’ vocabularies and knowledge of a subject to encourage students to monitor for meaning while reading to encourage students to think critically and analytically about text and content 3.

What is Experiential Learning? Experiential learning is inductive, learner centered, and activity oriented. Personalized reflection about an experience and the formulation of plans to apply learning to other contexts are critical factors in effective experiential learning. The emphasis in experiential learning is on the process of learning and not on the product. Experiential learning can be viewed as a cycle consisting of five phases, all of which are necessary: experiencing (an activity occurs);sharing or publishing (reactions and observations are shared); analysing or processing (patterns and dynamics are determined);inferring or generalizing (principles are derived); and, applying (plans are made to use learning in new situations).

Possible Methods Field Trips Narratives Conducting Experiments Simulations Games Storytelling Focused Imaging Field Observations Role-playing Model Building Surveys What are Field Trips? A field trip is a structured activity that occurs outside the classroom. It can be a brief observational activity or a longer more sustained investigation or project.

While field trips take considerable organization, it is important to: be clear about what the field trip will accomplish prepare students for the learning have a debriefing session for students to share their learning when they return to the classroom What are Narratives? Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author’s, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. What are Conducting Experiments? Is an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis.

Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. What are Simulations? A simulation is a form of experiential learning. Simulations are instructional scenarios where the learner is placed in a “world” defined by the teacher. They represent a reality within which students interact. The teacher controls the parameters of this “world” and uses it to achieve the desired instructional results. Simulations are in way, a lab experiment where the students themselves are the test subjects.

They experience the reality of the scenario and gather meaning from it. It is a strategy that fits well with the principles of constructivism. Simulations promote the use of critical and evaluative thinking. The ambiguous or open ended nature of a simulation encourages students to contemplate the implications of a scenario. The situation feels real and thus leads to more engaging interaction by learners. They are motivating activities enjoyed by students of all ages. What are Games?

Is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. What is Storytelling? Is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters, and narrative point of view. What is Focused Imaging?

Imaging, the process of internally visualizing an object, event, or situation, has the potential to nurture and enhance a student’s creativity (Bagley & Hess, 1987). Imaging enables students to relax and allow their imaginations to take them on journeys, to “experience” situations first hand, and to respond with their senses to the mental images formed. What are Field Observations? The process of filtering sensory information through the thought process. Input is received via hearing, sight, smell, taste, or touch and then analyzed through either rational or irrational thought.

What is Role Playing? In role playing, students act out characters in a predefined “situation”. Role playing allows students to take risk-free positions by acting out characters in hypothetical situations. It can help them understand the range of concerns, values, and positions held by other people. Role playing is an enlightening and interesting way to help students see a problem from another perspective. What is Model Building? What is Survey? is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal that publishes papers related to the development and application of survey techniques.

4. What is Independent Study? Independent study refers to the range of instructional methods which are purposefully provided to foster the development of individual student initiative, self-reliance, and self-improvement. While independent study may be initiated by student or teacher, the focus here will be on planned independent study by students under the guidance or supervision of a classroom teacher. In addition, independent study can include learning in partnership with another individual or as part of a small group. Possible Methods Essays Computer Assisted Instruction.

Journals Learning Logs Reports Learning Activity Packages Correspondence Lessons Learning Contracts Homework Research Projects Assigned Questions Learning Centers What is Essay? is generally a short piece of writing written from an author’s personal point of view, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of an article and a short story. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. What is Computer Assisted Instruction?

Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) refers to instruction or remediation presented on a computer. Computer programs can allow students to progress at their own pace and work individually or problem solve in a group. Computers provide immediate feedback, letting students know whether their answer is correct. If the answer is not correct, the program shows students how to correctly answer the question. Computers offer a different type of activity and a change of pace from teacher-led or group instruction. Also, computer-assisted instruction moves at the students’ pace and usually does not move ahead until they have mastered the skill. What is Journal Writing?

Journal writing is a learning tool based on the ideas that students write to learn. Students use the journals to write about topics of personal interest, to note their observations, to imagine, to wonder and to connect new information with things they already know. What are Learning Logs ? Learning logs are a simple and straightforward way to help students integrate content, process, and personal feelings. Learning logs operate from the stance that students learn from writing rather than writing what they have learned.

The common application is to have students make entries in their logs during the last five minutes of class or after each completed week of class. The message here is that short, frequent bursts of writing are more productive over time than are infrequent, longer assignments. What are Reports ? Written reports are documents which present focused, salient content to a specific audience. Reports are often used to display the result of an experiment, investigation, or inquiry. The audience may be public or private, an individual or the public in general.

Reports are used in government, business, education, science, and other fields. Learning Activity Packages Correspondence Lessons What are Learning Contracts ? Learning contracts provide a method of individualizing instruction and developing student responsibility. They permit individual pacing so that students may learn at the rate at which they are able to master the material. Learning contracts can be designed so that students function at the academic levels most suitable to them and work with resource materials containing concepts and knowledge that are appropriate to their abilities and experiences.

Although this method focuses on the individual, learning contracts also provide an opportunity for students to work in small groups. The teacher may select this approach for some students to support them as they learn to work independently. What are Homeworks ? Refers to tasks assigned to students by their teachers to be completed outside the class. Common homework assignments may include a quantity or period of reading to be performed, writing or typing to be completed, problems to be solved, a school project to be built (such as a diorama or display), or other skills to be practiced.

What is Researching? Research projects are very effective for developing and extending language arts skills as students learn in all subject areas. While doing research, students practice reading for specific purposes, recording information, sequencing and organizing ideas, and using language to inform others. A research model provides students with a framework for organizing information about a topic. Research projects frequently include these four steps: 1. determining the purpose and topic 2. gathering the information 3. organizing the information.

4. sharing knowledge. What are Assigned Questions ? Assigned questions are those prepared by the teacher to be answered by individuals or small groups of students. Students discuss their responses among one another or with the teacher. Particular positions or points-of-view should be supported by evidence. In some instances, it may be desirable for students to generate their own set of questions. What is Learning Center? There are eight basic learning centers in an early childhood/elementary classroom, according to the Stephen F.

Austin State University Charter School program, each structured to expand the students’ experiences in a variety of meaningful and effective ways. Each center is constructed to encompass numerous objectives, including state and federal standards, school standards, and community standards. The learning centers approach focuses on student autonomy and learning style by giving each student an opportunity to explore his learning environment hands-on in a developmentally appropriate classroom 5. What is Interactive Instruction? Interactive instruction relies heavily on discussion and sharing among participants.

Students can learn from peers and teachers to develop social skills and abilities, to organize their thoughts, and to develop rational arguments. The interactive instruction strategy allows for a range of groupings and interactive methods. It is important for the teacher to outline the topic, the amount of discussion time, the composition and size of the groups, and reporting or sharing techniques. Interactive instruction requires the refinement of observation, listening, interpersonal, and intervention skills and abilities by both teacher and students.

The success of the interactive instruction strategy and its many methods is heavily dependent upon the expertise of the teacher in structuring and developing the dynamics of the group. Possible Methods Debates Role Playing Panels Brainstorming Peer Partner Learning Discussion Laboratory Groups Think, Pair, Share Cooperative Learning Jigsaw Problem Solving Structured Controversy Tutorial Groups Interviewing Conferencing What is Debating? Debating is a structured contest of argumentation in which two opposing individuals or teams defend and attack a given proposition.

The procedure is bound by rules that vary based on location and participants. The process is adjudicated and a winner is declared. What is Role Playing? In role playing, students act out characters in a predefined “situation”. Role playing allows students to take risk-free positions by acting out characters in hypothetical situations. It can help them understand the range of concerns, values, and positions held by other people. Role playing is an enlightening and interesting way to help students see a problem from another perspective. What is Panelling? Panel discussions, however, differ from team presentations.

Their purpose is different. In a team presentation, the group presents agreed-upon views; in a panel discussion, the purpose is to present different views. Also in a team presentations, usually speakers stand as they speak; in panel discussions, usually speakers sit the whole time. In panel discussion each speaker prepares separately, the other speakers here one another for the time at the session itself. What is Brainstorming? Brainstorming is a large or small group activity which encourages children to focus on a topic and contribute to the free flow of ideas.

The teacher may begin by posing a question or a problem, or by introducing a topic. Students then express possible answers, relevant words and ideas. Contributions are accepted without criticism or judgement. Initially, some students may be reluctant to speak out in a group setting but brainstorming is an open sharing activity which encourages all children to participate. By expressing ideas and listening to what others say, students adjust their previous knowledge or understanding, accommodate new information and increase their levels of awareness.

What is Peer Partner Learning? Peer partner learning is a collaborative experience in which students learn from and with each other for individual purposes. Students reflect upon previously taught material by helping peers to learn and, at the same time, develop and hone their social skills. What is Discussion ? A discussion is an oral exploration of a topic, object, concept or experience. All learners need frequent opportunities to generate and share their questions and ideas in small and whole class settings.

Teachers who encourage and accept students’ questions and comments without judgement and clarify understandings by paraphrasing difficult terms stimulate the exchange of ideas. What is Laboratory Groups? What is Think, Pair, Share? Think-Pair-Share is a strategy designed to provide students with “food for thought” on a given topics enabling them to formulate individual ideas and share these ideas with another student. It is a learning strategy developed by Lyman and associates to encourage student classroom participation. Rather than using a basic recitation method in which a teacher poses a question and one student offers.

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