What it is

Instructional methods are deliberate, planned and outcomes-oriented pedagogical approaches that are structured to facilitate student learning success. Beyond delivering content, instructional methods are an approach to fostering engagement.

Why do it?

An engaged and inclusive classroom environment is one in which learning activities are structured to increase student participation and learning success. Selecting the right methods helps create a positive and safe environment for all, respectful social interactions, and clear academic expectations. It is important that instructional methods are selected with student needs and interest matched to specified learning outcomes, and aimed at attainting behavioral, emotional, and cognitive student engagement.

Getting Started

Instructional methods encompass a wide array of techniques that aid active learning and include ways we can enhance student engagement. The best methods help the student connect course content to students' prior knowledge and extends and refines students' knowledge through authentic tasks, such as complex problem solving, critical discourse, and civic activism.

For a self-guided introduction to instructional methods explore the modules in the Instructional Methods Core Course for Student Engagement. The Core course provides a self-paced opportunity for instructors to examine and adapt nine evidence-informed student-centered teaching approaches. Diversifying the learning experiences of students through the implementation of various forms of active learning methods is central to fostering an engaged and inclusive classroom environment.

For more details, or to discuss what the best instructional methods are for your class, set up a consultation with a staff member.

Engaging Teaching Approaches

This article written by Devon Quick and Lori Kayes shares how these instructors have worked to promote student participation and interaction in large enrollment courses to promote student success.

Promoting Engagement in the (Sometimes Very) Large "Lecture" Classroom

The following document offers over 100 very quick ideas for engaging and assessing students.

Interactive Techniques

The following graphic organizers can be used to support active construction (or assessment) of student knowledge.

Graphic Organizers

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