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Interactive teaching method 1: whole-class discussion

1. Orientation
Provide the discussion topic well in advance.
Clearly describe the question, problem, dilemma or proposition.
Explain how students are to prepare for the discussion. For example, provide questions for
students to investigate before the discussion, or students can prepare their own questions and
Explain how the discussion will be conducted and the 'rules' for discussion. For example: listen
attentively, remain objective, make relevant contributions.
Encourage students to think deeply about one another's contributions.
2. Engagement
Develop an environment where students feel secure expressing their ideas.
Present a clear question to focus the discussion.
Start by asking students to define terms and concepts.
Ask extra questions to guide the discussion as necessary.
If necessary, help students by providing extra information to clarify a point or overcome a hurdle
but do not dominate the discussion or students' thinking.
Wait for each student to answer the question.
Keep the discussion moving by paraphrasing, re-stating, inviting elaboration and asking for
Encourage questioning or challenging of ideas and sources of information.
Refocus discussion if students' contributions are irrelevant or inconsistent with the discussion's
academic purpose.
Keep a progressive record of the key points of the discussion, for example, by writing on the
board or other visual means.
Close discussion by summarising, foreshadowing or evaluating.
3. Debrief
Allow time for students to make their own notes about the discussion. They could use the teacher
record as a guide.
Facilitate student reflection on what they learnt, for example, about their values about the topic.

Interactive teaching method 2: cooperative learning
1. Planning
Plan across the year to start with small, highly-structured cooperative tasks and build into more
complex tasks. For example, students work in pairs until they have the skills to work in larger
Plan for students to take on diverse roles so all students develop the intended range of skills.
Students can take on a role within a single task or for a set of tasks across the year.
2. Orientation
Define the topic and the expected outcomes.
Form groups of students comprising two to six members. Ensure groups are diverse (gender,
ability, culture, etc).
Develop students' skills to help each other learn, for example, how to give clear explanations and
how to ask thought-provoking questions.
Provide clear and simple outlines of the team roles.
Allocate roles (or let students allocate the roles).
Clarify each team member's responsibilities: individual responsibility for their part of the learning
as well as group members' responsibility for achieving the group goal.
Establish team rules that promote mutual respect and responsibility among members.
Suggest how teams might get started and how they might develop a plan of action.
3. Engagement
Allow students to work together to achieve their common goal.
Circulate to give help, to monitor the activities and learning, and to make notes of what needs to
be dealt with after the group sessions have finished.
Allow groups to manage minor problems by themselves.
Reinforce collaborative behaviours.
4. Debrief
Facilitate sharing of findings if appropriate.
Allow students time to reflect on:
o their learning and how they learnt
o how well the group is functioning
o how effectively they are performing in their role.

Interactive teaching method 3: peer partner learning
1. Orientation
Outline the topic and the expected outcomes of the peer partner learning.
Introduce and model peer partner learning so that students are familiar with the expectations of
the two roles. The 'doer' performs a task and the 'helper' observes and provides feedback.
Provide necessary support so that the partners can work independently. For example, spend time
building their capacity to ask thought-provoking questions and provide feedback.
If necessary, give students the opportunity to practise their roles.
2. Engagement
Allocate the 'doer' and 'helper' roles and explain at what point the roles will be reversed.
Give students the task and, if necessary, a work plan.
Discuss and clarify the task and work plan.
Provide a structured guide for the 'helper' to guide what they should be looking for when providing
feedback to their peer. Use language that students could use in their discussions.
Circulate to:
o provide assistance
o monitor the activities and learning
o make notes of what needs to be dealt with after the partner sessions have finished.
Allow partners to manage minor problems by themselves.
Reinforce collaborative behaviours.
3. Debrief
Encourage students to reflect on what worked well and what they would do differently next time.
Check for understanding of the intended learning.

5 Interactive Teaching Styles
Teaching involves an opened-minded plan for helping students meet and exceed educational
goals. Teaching styles may differ from teacher to teacher, class to class and school to school. Yet
every teaching objective must include a structured but flexible process for student advancement.
Interactive teaching styles incorporate a multitude of goals beneath a single roof. Interactive
classes are designed around a simple principle: Without practical application, students often fail
to comprehend the depths of the study material. Interactive training styles provide four basic
forms of feedback:
Measurable Student Accomplishments Teachers making use of interactive teaching styles are
better equipped to access how well students master a given subject material
Flexibility in Teaching Applying training methods that involve two-way
communications enable the teacher to make quick adjustments in processes and
Practice Makes Perfect Interactive instruction enhances the learning process
Student Motivation Two-way teaching dispels student passivity.
Applying Interactive Education
Whereas students often lose interest during lecture-style teaching, interactive teaching styles
promote an atmosphere of attention and participation. Make it interesting. Make it exciting.
Make it fun. Telling is not teaching and listening is not learning.
In a Microsoft presentation from the ARMA International Center for Education, the following
guidelines express the focus of interactive educational teaching styles:
Encourage student participation
Use questions that stimulate response, discussion and a hands-on experience
Use teaching aids that press for answers, and capture and hold the students attention
Setup a workgroup environment
Involve yourself as well as the student
Interactive Teaching Styles That Make A Difference
1) Brainstorming Various Techniques
Interactive brainstorming is typically performed in group sessions. The process is useful for
generating creative thoughts and ideas. Brainstorming helps students learn to pull together.
Types of interactive brainstorming include:
Structured and unstructured
Reverse or negative thinking
Nominal group relationships
Online interaction such as chat, forums and email
Team idea mapping
Group passing
Individual brainstorming
2) Think, Pair and Share
Establish a problem or a question. Pair the students. Give each pair sufficient time to form a
conclusion. Permit each participant to define the conclusion in his or her personal voice. You can
also request that one student explain a concept while the other student evaluates what is being
learned. Apply different variations of the process.
3) Buzz Session
Participants come together in session groups that focus on a single topic. Within each group,
every student contributes thoughts and ideas. Encourage discussion and collaboration among the
students within each group. Everyone should learn from one anothers input and experiences.
4) Incident Process
This teaching style involves a case study format, but the process is not so rigid as a full case
study training session. The focus is on learning how to solve real problems that involve real
people. Small groups of participants are provided details from actual incidents and then asked to
develop a workable solution.
5) Q & A Sessions
On the heels of every topic introduction, but prior to formal lecturing, the teacher requires
students to jot down questions pertaining to the subject matter. Once the cards are collected, the
lecture begins. Along the route, the teacher reads and answers the student generated questions.
Some tips for a good session are as follows:
Randomize Rather than following the order of collection or some alphabetical name list,
establish some system that evokes student guesswork concerning the order of student
Keep it Open-Ended If necessary, rephrase student questions so that participants must
analyze, evaluate and then justify the answers
Hop It Up Gradually increase the speed of the Q & A. At some point, you should limit the
responses to a single answer, moving faster and faster from question to question.
Times Up
The options for interactive training styles number into the dozens. In a brief PowerPoint
presentation on Interactive Teaching Techniques, Kevin Yee from the University of Central
Florida provides concise descriptions of 186 different approaches to interactive educational
formats. You wont find a better overview and starting point. Now is the time to start bringing
life into your teaching styles.