Last modified 19/11/08 15:23:02

About Teaching Approaches and Techniques


You may already have a way of teaching that suits you, and your students, best. However, if you want to try something different, we invite you to explore the different models of learning and techniques presented in this section.

You can use this section in two ways:

  • Think about your general teaching approach (or pedagogy): i.e. how, in broad terms, you will structure the learning session and how you will interact with your students, whether online and/or face to face.
  • Investigate alternative techniques for individual activities within the learning session.

Models of learning

Some of these models are associated with specific theories of learning; others have more pragmatic origins and have been distilled from the accumulated experience of individual teachers or institutions.

Each model has associated with it:

  • A brief overview
  • A "generic" learning design to show, in principle, how a learning session may be structured
  • Example learning designs and/or case studies showing how particular teachers have implemented the model. Many of these examples are on external Websites and so may be laid out in a number of different ways
  • Links to further information about the approach

Note: Categorising learning designs according to the models of learning that underpin them is somewhat tricky. In practice, teachers may implement only part of a particular model, or they may mix and match models within a particular learning design according to the material, activities and/or students. What is important is to identify, within a particular learning design, an underlying approach that either resonates with your existing approach and offers opportunities to extend it, or presents a promising alternative that stimulates you to experiment.

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These techniques have been selected either because they make innovative use of technology or because they offer interesting or unusual methods of collaborative learning.

We are still looking for techniques to add to this list. If you would like to contribute a technique (whether from your own teaching or from other sources), please  contact us.

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Further information about theories of learning

The following online resources contain brief outlines of a range of theories of learning and/or links to further reading on different aspects of individual theories. They have been produced by experts in the educational field and may therefore be more authoritative than, say, Wikipedia articles on the same subjects.

 Explorations in Learning & Instruction: The Theory Into Practice Database. Produced by  Greg Kearsley, an independent consultant working in the US.

 Theories of learning and other theories related to IT, assembled by  Martin Ryder of the University of Colorado, Denver.

 Teaching Models from the  Learning Technologies Center, Virginia Tech. This site categorises models of teaching and learning according to their place on a continuum extending from teacher-directed to student-centred paradigms. It also includes tips for designing and developing learning experiences, together with links to further information.

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