Instructional Strategies

Telling is not teaching!

When developing an online course, it is important to consider how the students will acquire the desired knowledge and skills. In a distance learning setting, instructional strategies must take into account student technology skills, learning styles and communication preferences. Strategies encompass the following approaches:

Direct Instruction

Student learning is supported through the explicit teaching of skills and/or content using lectures and/or demonstrations. Some examples of Direct Instruction include: lecture, drill and practice, didactic questions and demonstrations.

Indirect Instruction

Student learning is supported through observing, investigating, drawing inferences from data, or forming hypotheses. Some examples of Indirect Instruction include: case studies, problem solving and concept formation/ mapping.

Interactive Instruction

Student learning is supported through discussion, development and defense of rational argument. Some examples of Interactive Instruction include: debates, role playing and panel discussions

Experiential Learning

Student learning is supported through activities conducted outside of the classroom context. Some examples of Experiential Learning include: field trips, simulations, games and experiments

Independent Study

Student learning is supported through self-sufficient and self-supporting activities. Some examples of Independent Study include: journals, computer assisted instruction, learning contracts and research projects.

While, it is not practical for every learning module to employ each strategy, over its duration, an online course should employ a variety of strategies to address the various learning styles and preferences of the students.

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