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Instructional methods are used for the presentation of content, the application of content, and for giving feedback. There is a wide range of instructional methods to choose from to create the Presentation–>Application–>Feedback loop throughout training. Every participant learns differently, so you must select methods that reflect a variety of learning preferences. It’s also important to use a variety of methods to help keep your learners engaged.
In this article, you will find several examples of both Presentation (P) and Application (A) methods. To learn how to select and use these methods (and 30 more!), they are explained in more detail in our Instructional Design for New Designers workshop, which provides you with a step-by-step instructional design process, as well as some time-saving shortcuts to produce better courses faster.
A variation of the case study in which learners solve a problem or case by making decisions. Their decisions determine what they will see next. The consequences of their decisions provide learners with insight and feedback.
A desirable behavior is shown to participants, either through a live demonstration by the instructor or through a video. The behavior is then analyzed and studied. It is commonly used in interpersonal skills and communication skills training.
A freewheeling technique to generate ideas. Phase one requires a creative, spontaneous flow of suggestions without any judgment or evaluation of the suggestions. Phase two involves more careful analysis to explore the ideas and evaluate their usefulness.
A large group is subdivided into smaller groups for a quick discussion. All groups meet simultaneously for 5-10 minutes to react to a topic, generate ideas or questions, discuss an issue, etc.
Learners are given a written or oral account of a situation. They are asked, either individually or in groups, to analyze the case and present findings and/or recommendations. This method is usually used to practice analytical skills.
Learners meet to analyze and treat a specific problem or react to a problem they have encountered.
A modified version of a panel involving 4-8 people. Half the panel represents the learners and the other half are resource people or experts. The learner representatives ask questions, raise issues, and make comments for the experts to respond to.
A smaller group drawn from a large group of learners to handle a project or assignment that can’t be handled efficiently by the large group. There may be more than one committee working at the same time. Each committee reports back to the larger group for direction and feedback.
A method used to highlight similarities and differences between two things.
A variation of the case study in which learners are given incomplete data. By analyzing the case and asking the right questions, they are given the additional data needed to solve the case.
Learners analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a subject, system, approach, proposal, etc. They then make suggestions or improvements.
Two learners, or teams of learners, defend opposite sides of an issue. Learners alternate in presenting their arguments. The purpose is to explore all aspects of an issue and to emphasize winning.
Learners observe the performance of a task or procedure. The demonstration may be live or prerecorded.
Two individuals hold a conversation while the other learners observe. The individuals in dialogue may be resource people or selected learners. They may either present opposing views or simply discuss the issue in an informed manner.
An exchange of ideas on a topic of mutual concern. This discussion is usually facilitated by a leader, but it can be leaderless. It can be totally unstructured and spontaneous, or it can be highly structured.
A session of repetitive practice designed to increase efficiency, improve the quality of performance, or aid retention.
This is a panel with a vacant chair. Learners can temporarily take the vacant chair in order to participate briefly in the panel discussion. When they have had their say, they vacate the chair so another learner can occupy it.
Learners are taken to the environment where the task is performed. The trip is carefully planned for learning through observation and analysis of what is observed. (This is not just a casual tour.)
A modification of the discussion in which a large group is divided into two smaller groups. The “inner” circle discusses an issue or does an exercise while the “outer” circle observes and then offers observations or feedback.
Following a formal presentation, learners discuss and ask questions about the topic. They may ask questions of the speaker or discuss among themselves. For larger groups, a moderator may be needed.
Langevin Learning Services specializes in instructional design and instructional methods. Many more methods are discussed and demonstrated in our workshops.
In those workshops, you will learn how to select and apply the most appropriate instructional method for any given situation, as well as all the skills you need to succeed when designing a course, workshop, or seminar.
Find a program that delivers on all these essentials and teaches the skills you need. Not sure where to start? You can always chat with us or contact us. We’re happy to help you find the workshop that best fits your professional development needs.
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Instructional Design For New Designers (Recommended)
Instructional Design For The Virtual Trainer
Instructional Design For e-Learning
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