With changing times, we must upgrade to new pedagogies. Advancement in education and technology can help us make the learning and teaching experience efficient, effective and multiple folds better.
The pedagogies in this article may sound familiar. Still, over time, they’ve evolved. This post aims to inform you about the old teaching methods with their updated application, features, variations, and other related knowledge about how they work the best.
Gamification has to be the topmost innovative approach to imparting education and knowledge. Who would’ve thought that games can help educators teach students? Apart from the fun game-like activities that can be done in the classrooms, we have moved to an era where tech games are changing education paradigms. Gamifying classrooms can be extremely joyful while providing learning opportunities to students. Some common elements of gameplay are point-scoring, competitiveness, rules, collaboration and group work. These are also a few elements required in education for the overall development and skill-building of students.
To understand it better, watch Paul Andersen talking about science learning via gamification in this TED Talk.
Paul Anderson’s TEDtalk is a great resource to learn about instructional pedagogies. He talks about his school philosophy being fun and failure being OK- mentioning it to be a part of the learning process. He also discusses self-paced learning and how students learn at different “levels” and should be enabled by their educators to “level up”. He took the most compelling gaming elements and applied them to his classroom, reinventing his class as a videogame!
Another thorough framework comes from Yo-Kai Chou. Watch out for his ted talk below to understand the foundational strategies of gamification and how they can reinvent education. His octarchial framework mentions the crucial pillars of gamification that are also a part of education; namely, Accomplishment, Empowerment, Meaning, Ownership, Social Influence, Scarcity, Unpredictability, and Avoidance.
Making games a part of the classroom and a way to teach beholds immense potential as children are keen to learn that way. With multiple games available for all subject and ages, gamifying education hasn’t been easier. With all these resources, educators can sure shot give a try to gamification and see the difference!
Learning By Doing
Learning by doing is not just a teaching method but an art. The approach provides hands-on practice and real-time experience of education to students. Experiments and real-time practice of theory back the knowledge they gain. The approach is common in subjects that have a practical approach. This pedagogy is commonly used in teaching science. We are familiar with the presence of science labs in schools to provide students with the practical experience of the theoretical concepts. The extension to this is the presence of remote labs.
Remote lab systems minimize participation barriers by providing user-friendly Web interfaces, curriculum materials, and professional development for teachers. Remote access to science equipment initially developed for scientists and university students is now being expanded and gaining popularity among trainee teachers and school students. A remote lab is typically equipped with apparatus or equipment, robotic arms to operate it, and cameras that provide the experiments’ views as they unfold.
With access to remote labs and appropriate support, students and teachers can deep learn and understand conceptual knowledge through hands-on investigation and practices. This creates opportunities for them to have a direct observation that complements textbook learning. For instance, students can learn about constellations not just from their textbooks but by using distant telescopes to make observations of the night sky during daytime school science classes.
Engaging with authentic scientific tools and practices such as controlling remote laboratory experiments or telescopes provides an in-depth learning experience and real-time knowledge. It helps build science inquiry skills, accelerate conceptual understanding, and motivate learners.
Most teachers would be aware of the term flipped learning; however, many would not have clarity about this approach’s concept. A flipped classroom is all about doing what is done in class at home, and doing is done at home in the classroom. Typically, in a classroom setting, the teacher presents material and assigns homework or assignments to students based on that material to be done at home. Contrary to this. In a flipped classroom model, instructional material in the form of reading material or videos content is given to students to be studied at home. Classroom time is optimized for the students to engage in active learning via various activities.
“A guiding principle of the flipped classroom is that work typically done as homework (e.g., problem-solving, essay writing) is better undertaken in class with the guidance of the instructor. Listening to lecture or watching videos is better accomplished at home“. – Herreid and Schiller
Key features of a flipped classroom environment:
- Self-paced learning as it allows students to move at their own pace.
- Teachers get an insight into students’ potential and capacity as they can watch them perform and observe their learning styles and areas they find difficult.
- Flipped classroom allows educators to customize and update the curriculum more easily. This is because technology plays a key role in a flipped classroom, creating and exchange of material. Teachers can easily provide content to students anytime as the use of technology is flexible.
- Since the classroom is for learning practices and activities, classroom time can be used more effectively and creatively as per students and educators’ wish.
- With learning activities in the classroom, student achievement, interest, and engagement are bound to increase.
Self-Organized Learning Environment
A self-Organized Learning Environment fosters collaboration, innovation, and creativity digitally through the internet. This happens in a group of students. Learners organize themselves into groups but do not lose their freedom to use resources and switch to another group. All this is done with limited instructor intervention. The learning method is a process that begins with a “big question” posed by the instructor. The question aims to spark curiosity among students and fill them with intrigue around the concept.
Sugata Mitra, the founder of this theory, believed that “students will learn through exploration, collaboration, and curiosity“.
SOLE sessions have multiple steps before reaching the learning conclusion. The motive is that at the end of a session, the learners can share what they learned and reflect on the process. In respect to this, Mitra stated, “In a SOLE, children seem to create and maximize meaning out of the information content of what they are researching“.
Key features of this pedagogy are:
- Student-driven as students are motivated by their choice and interest. They also drive the process of learning.
- Collaborative as students get to learn socially, and collaboration is a part of the learning process.
- Accelerates curiosity as the understanding of concepts is driven by curiosity and the pedagogy encourages the sense of wonder.
- Open-minded since the pedagogy requires students and instructor be to open-minded.
- Transformative as critical thinking is paramount in the process of learning under this approach.
- Encouraging and patient as these qualities are a must among both students and instructors to benefit from the pedagogy.
A typical timeline and steps for a SOLE session would be as below:
Step One: Questions
Duration: First 5 Minutes
Action: Pose a “big question.”
As mentioned above, the teacher’s question plays the central role in the proceedings of the session. The question raised has to be framed to promote curiosity and intrigue among students. As per the SOLE process, the “big question” is described as “ones that don’t have an easy answer. These questions are usually open and difficult; they may even be unanswerable. The ultimate motive is to encourage deep, and long conversations, rather than finding easy answers” Instructors have to ensure that their questions elicit critical thinking, collaborative work, and discovering theories throughout the children’s learning process and provide connections across content areas.
Step Two: Investigation
Duration: 30-45 Minutes
Action: this step involves contribution from students. They work in groups to find answers to the big question online. In this time, they work collaboratively to find the answers to the big question. The instructor’s role is to provide encouragement and motivation to students in this step. If any group issue arises, students have to resolve it by themselves. Students are free to move into other groups. The only limitation is the few rules given to students.
Step Three: Review
Duration: 10-20 Minutes
Action: the final step is to initiate the discussion among students and allow them to share their thoughts, opinions and understanding with their teacher. In this step, students get to share their stories of collective discovery. They can talk about their experience, similarities or differences between their answers than their peers, use help to see links to other areas. Instructors play a key role in this step. They must encourage debate and facilitate students with opportunities that allow them to bush up their soft skills and increase their conceptual understanding. Instructors can engage the students in their review by asking them what they would do differently next time? What do they think others did well? And how?
One of the most spoken about approach yet underestimated. To put it simply, under PBL, teachers make learning come alive for students.
With project-based learning in action, students get to work on a project for an extended period. The core philosophy is to ensure that students use their cumulative knowledge to solve a real-world problem or answer a complex question. These projects are assigned to students in a group. Together, students have to find a solution and work their way out. in the process, the children develop deep content knowledge and polish their soft skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
Needless to say, Project-Based Learning unleashes contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.
To have an effective PBL approach for students and teacher, PBLWorks outlines seven key elements for students that provide a framework for developing high-quality projects. Similarly, Seven Project Based Teaching Practices are outlined to help teachers, schools, and organizations improve, calibrate, and assess their practice under a PBL approach. These are:
Seven Essential Project Design Elements for Students:
- Challenging Problem or Question
- Sustained Inquiry
- Student Voice and Choice
- Critique and Revision
- Public Product
Seven Project-based teaching Practices for Educators:
- Design and Plan
- Engage and Coach
- Assess Student Learning
- Scaffold Student Learning
- Manage Activities
- Build The Culture
- Align to Standards
Make sure you check out HQPBL, a great resource to learn more and everything about Project-based learning.
Share your take on pedagogies that can transform the classroom experience for students and teachers?
Mention in the comments section below!