Courseware: Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Blog Post • Best Practice Insights, Industry Insights, Trainer Experience • [read_meter]

At ITpreneurs, we produce extensive sets of courseware with pre-course reading, instructor guides, coursebooks, reference materials, case studies, and more. We specifically do not stick to only a printed book or even just an ebook. The reason is that we all prefer to learn differently, at different paces, at different levels, and in different ways.

Some of us learn through other people’s instructions and demonstrations, whereas others find a hands-on experience more effective (more about that later). With there being so much variation in how we learn, it makes sense for us to support a range of teaching styles that elevate your students’ learning experience. With such a wide variety of learning styles comes the need to provide you, as the instructor, with an extensive set of courseware. Without it, the courses you teach wouldn’t be as effective as they could be.

What Are Some Different Teaching Styles?

To teach more effectively, we should start by looking at how your students learn best and use this knowledge to plan which (parts of the) courseware to use in your classes. For instructors, it could mean taking some time to work with your students and switch around teaching styles in order for everyone to do the best that he or she can. Here are some styles to consider:

1.The Authority Method

This is the traditional classroom lecture-style learning method. It involves students listening to their instructor talk about a pre-assigned topic or skill through a presentation, in which students will take notes and absorb the information. Typically students are provided with courseware such as printed books, pre-reading materials, or eBooks. This is very common in large corporations and (evening) colleges where there are a lot of students, student participation is low, and it is more challenging to arrange small group work or one-on-one student-instructor sessions.

2. The Demonstration Method

As the name suggests, it is learning by watching demonstrations or coaching sessions. An instructor will show students how to undertake a particular skill or task, as students observe and later try to replicate. The learning experience could also include watching and observing online video tutorials, or videos in class. This tends to be the norm for working professionals with limited time and with the ability to get to terms with concepts in a hands-on manner.

3. The Activity Method

This approach enables students to think more in-depth about a skill, by encouraging self-learning. This could mean asking students the questions rather than providing them with the answers. It could also involve them to discuss with their peers and in turn, they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This proves to be a popular method with small teaching groups where interaction and engagement are easier. Courseware could include reference cards, group discussions, and quizzes.

4. The Group Method

As you may have guessed, this style of teaching encourages group work between students. This means putting groups or teams together to complete a project or fulfill an in-class activity. This is proven to be useful in theoretical subjects that are more difficult to translate to the work environment by forcing the students to apply the knowledge. It is also effective in subjects that rely on peer feedback and discussion, e.g. problem-solving. Courseware would most commonly include group exercises such as case studies or role-playing games.

5. The Hybrid Method

This teaching style consists of an integrated approach where instructors aim to incorporate their interests and preferences, whilst trying to fulfill all students’ needs. This is becoming more and more common in classes where a deeper knowledge of particular topics can be developed. Courseware used could consist of a variety of different styles, from books, pre-reading and case studies to games, quizzes and group work.

How Does Our Courseware Fit?

It is apparent that there is a diverse range of teaching styles that have different effects on different students. One student prefers to sit an listen to the instructor, another student prefers to do exercises, the third student prefers to read the manual first, and the fourth student tries to visualize things as much as possible. There is no superior teaching style, though it is clear that all methods have their pros and cons. Perhaps the most effective way of teaching is varying these methods according to the nature of the subject matter and the students’ needs.

By experimenting with these different styles, teaching strategies can be developed to ensure every class is a productive session for all members. Our courseware makes that easy for you. It is professionally created by experienced Instructional Designers and by Instructors who have taught the subject. The entire development is kept in balance by a community of subject matter experts that will review the materials. So you can spend your time teaching the subject you love to teach with course materials that will fit your (required) teaching style. The materials are white-labeled and easy to order. Head over to EdCast Marketplace and start delivering.

About the author

Marcel Foederer
Master Trainer at ITpreneurs and ITIL 4 Lead Architect

As an IT Service Management trainer, consultant and line manager with over 25 years of experience in IT, Marcel has performed strategic and tactical assignments in a wide variety of areas. For the ITIL 4 update, Marcel has been part of the ITIL 4 Lead Architect Team and Review Team at AXELOS. Through his association with AXELOS, Marcel comprehends the background, the architecture, and the underlying reasons of the ITIL 4 update.

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