Corporate training is devilishly important. Having your workers up-to-speed with the latest practices, policies, procedures and products is essential for optimal business performance and effective teaching strategies. The problem is that the training strategy for your staff can be a real headache. Training days are not effective and, if your workforce is sparsely located, impractical. Meanwhile, eLearning courses can be even worse with course completions rates typically struggling to push past 20 per cent. Fortunately, recent advances is technology and training techniques are making things MUCH better.
What is an instructional strategy
An instructional strategy is the technique used by educators plus learning and development professionals to instruct and teach students and train workers. It typically reflects the opposite of traditional teaching and training which focuses on transmissive, rote memorization techniques which are ineffective. Modern training models of instructional design seek to be engaging and effective at embedding and retaining knowledge. Examples include microlearning and spaced repetition.
What are the different types of instructional strategies?
Instructional strategies are the different methods and plans that instructors use to teach students in their courses. There are several different types of instructional strategies, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Prior Knowledge Activation, for example, encourages students to connect information they already possess and relate it to the new material they are trying to learn.
Demonstration is another common one, where students look at a demonstration by a peer or professor and are then asked to apply what they learned to solve a new problem. Teaching to Peers is yet another strategy, in which the student must gain enough familiarity with the material so as to be able to educate their peers about what they learned.
What are some differentiated instructional strategies?
We can observe the function of a teacher from two different aspects – from the aspect of a traditional, classical school and the modern school, i.e. the school of the future. In a traditional school, the teacher was the mediator between the teaching content and the students.
The modern approach to teaching is reflected in the fact that students are no longer passive listeners sitting in benches, but active participants in the learning process. The teacher is now just a moderator who guides the student.
Teaching strategies include teaching methods and procedures specific to certain educational areas. Differentiated instructional strategies are often used in the modern classroom. Some of them are:
Acceleration is a form of teaching in which students deliberately expose themselves to more advanced curriculum standards than that determined by their actual age and in a shorter time than prescribed. It can take a variety of forms and divisions: starting school early, placing in a gifted class, collecting test scores, skipping one or more classes, completing two classes in one year, or attending elementary and high school at the same time.
The acceleration method should not involve all students, nor speed up the whole class just for the benefit of a few gifted learners. Namely, although it is easier to organize within the existing schedule structures and the cost of conducting such classes is much lower, it can lead to inappropriate acceleration and difficulties in work.
Acceleration is only suitable for students of above-average abilities who constantly have high school achievements, learn faster than others, and have high motivation to learn.
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Enriching the regular curriculum
Enrichment of teaching, sometimes called extension, is suitable for all students and can therefore be carried out in the whole class, but if necessary with a small group of students or individually. The benefit of this method of education is that all students benefit from it. Enriching learning activities ensure the deepening and expansion of regular classes according to the abilities and needs of students. We can distinguish two ways of enrichment, horizontally and vertically. Horizontal enrichment explores areas of knowledge that are rarely touched upon in a common, basic school curriculum. Vertical enrichment develops the ability to think quantitatively, which implies a propensity for the topic and the ability to understand the basic principles and generalize
Grouping students by ability
Grouping by abilities, also called homogeneous grouping, is a form of differentiated teaching that implies the independent activity of students. It is about the teacher dividing the whole class into groups according to prior knowledge and mathematical abilities so that the differences within the group are minimal. Students are divided into three groups; poorer, good, and excellent, and during teaching, everyone solves tasks appropriate to their abilities. Since there are always easier and harder parts in any topic of teaching, it is possible to apply for work with homogeneous groups at any time.
Example #1 – Microlearning
Microlearning is the practice of breaking complex information down into easily-digestible, bite-sized chunks. With human short-term memory only able to hold a maximum of three-to-five pieces of new information before it is overwritten or pushed out, there’s a far greater likelihood of knowledge passing to long term memory if only a few, highly-targeted, topics are focused on.
Example #2 – Spaced Repetition
Spaced repetition, or distributed practice, is the process of repeating lessons at increasing intervals until knowledge is embedded. It’s important to use the correct spaced repetition schedule to maximise effectiveness lest knowledge is revised before it has had a change to decay or after it has already decayed. Microlearning as an instructional model design is an enabler because short lessons are more practical to repeat. However, implementations such as Brain Boost are even more effective as they remember which answers a learner got right and focus primarily on those they got wrong. It’s one of the most effective instructional strategies.
Example #3 – Interactivity
When learning doesn’t feel like learning, it’s at its most effective. It needs to be more than simply answering multiple choice questions in an eLearning course but creating such interactivity is a simple instructional strategy thanks to templates: you just add your own questions and answers.
Example #4 – Gamification
Adding another level to interactivity is gamification. Using this in your instructional strategies is a very effective way to engage with learners. Learning can become fun and competitive learners feel compelled to perform better: whether that’s scoring more points or completing questions in faster times.
Example #5 – Leaderboards
A step up from gamification is leaderboards. Instructional strategies that employ these can see great success with both high-performing learners incentivised to perform better and straggling learners slightly-pressured to do likewise. When this is spread across groups, rather than individuals, peer pressure can also help make learning more effective.
Example #6 – Peer Learning
Nobody knows your organisation’s practices better than your own employees. Any lessons they create are going to be highly engaging and relatable from the perspective of colleagues and so it’s one of the great instructional strategies. Templates mean that anyone can easily create a lesson (or at least do so with minimal assistance).
Example #7 – Mobile Learning
With mobile phones nearing ubiquity and with younger generations rarely out of their device’s presence, it makes sense to distribute training via smartphones. Courses can be distributed (globally) via the cloud which means they can always be kept up to date.
Example #8 – Just in Time training (JITT)
If your knowledge is delivered just minutes before it’s required, it has a good likelihood of being retained at the crucial moment. Small microlessons can easily be consumed within minutes and if they’re distributed straight to a learner’s pocket (via the cloud) right before they’re needed, then you have one of the most agile instructional strategies around.
Example #9 – Prizing instructional strategies
Offering real-world prizes to learners is a great incentive to engage with courseware. Whether it’s rewarding the best performer(s) or the fastest performer(s), engagement and effectiveness will increase. Note that it’s often more effective to offer many small rewards (shopping or coffee vouchers for instance) rather than the opportunity to win one larger prize.
Example #10 – Integrated translation
Many organisations have sites in multiple countries with employees who speak multiple languages. Translating courses can be an expensive and time-consuming affair. However, thanks to Google Translate, it’s now simple to create a course translation with an 80+ per cent accuracy rate, for most global languages, with a single-click of a button.
Example #11 – Accurate and reliable knowledge and learning content
It goes without saying that your learning materials are the backbone of your knowledge and learning management, which is why it is integral to curate them based only on reliable information and data points. Equipping your employees with accurate and valuable knowledge will help make smart and timely decisions in the future, and most importantly, deliver accurate and consistent services to their customers and clients. All things considered, this strategy will greatly benefit your company’s bottom line and bring your business towards long-term success.
Example #12 – Storytelling techniques
Storytelling, while often ignored, is one of the most effective ways to impart knowledge to your employees. By incorporating anecdotal evidence and case studies or transforming content into a relatable scenario, your employees can easily remember a message or lesson and effectively apply their acquired skills and knowledge in their work. This is because stories put meaning into your information and data points, making them easier to grasp and understand.
Example #13 – Knowledge and learning progress
The only way you can check the effectiveness of your knowledge and learning management plan is by keeping an eye on your employees’ learning progress. Apart from checking whether or not they have already completed their learning materials, knowing how they responded to your content will also give you some useful insights. Say your team took a little longer to finish their courses, then they might need some extra coaching. It could also indicate that the topic may have come a little difficult for them, or the learning approach isn’t exactly working as expected.
Example #14 – Online training simulations
An online training simulation is a training method that creates an immersive learning experience through activities that emulate real-life scenarios. This allows your remote workforce to experience realistic simulations in a virtual environment. Online simulations replicate scenarios that are typically demonstrated in traditional training through in-person demos.
Example #15 – Training web conferences
The shift into virtual learning environments led to more webinars and video conferences in training sessions for some companies. With the lack of physical interaction, it can be a challenge to keep learners engaged – especially during long sessions. One way to actively engage the learners is by turning traditional, boring presentations into interactive presentations. This helps engage and promote knowledge retention among learners during live virtual training sessions.
How to write an objective?
Good learning objectives list what the participants are aiming to learn by the end of their course or lesson. It’s important to identify a goal that is aligned with the amount of effort you are ready and willing to take part in. Once you’ve identified your goal, make sure to write it using an action verb that accurately describes what your goal is. Verbs like ‘calculate,’ ‘recognize’, and so forth. By writing a measurable objective in an active voice, you are more likely to reach it. Check this of learning objective examples to know more.
Want more help with instructional strategies and instructional design best practices?
If you’re an L&D professional or instructional designer and you’d like to know more about how to implement these training strategies into your programs, get in touch at email@example.com. You can also try EdApp’s Free LMS Platform and authoring tool for free by signing up here.
You can also try one of our courses in our content library to see how just how interactive microlessons can be. You may also be interested in the ADDIE training model and other instructional strategies.
If you want to learn more about learning strategies, read here.
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