Varied Instructional Strategies

Graphic - inst stratAside from assigning meaningful homework, other instructional strategies can encourage student engagement and exploration both inside and outside of class.

Note that the Net Generation is very comfortable collaborating outside of the classroom (made possible by Web 2.0).

Some of these strategies include: 

Have students ask questions or comments about course readings prior to the activity or lecture, or post questions to a discussion board.

This type of activity helps the instructor better anticipate what students will want and need to cover on the day of the activity. It also provides a sense of accountability for readings, since students will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have prepared for the assignment.

Invite a guest lecturer to join the class for a day, or an online discussion for a few days.

This type of activity can provide students with access to an expert in the field. A discussion board can also serve as a place to brainstorm questions to ask prior to a live guest lecture.

Engage students in peer feedback of draft-level assignments.

Online discussion boards or email make it easy for students to share draft copies of their work, and the teacher can readily monitor participation and quality of feedback. Collaboration turns learning into a social event, which appeals to today’s students.

Have students collaborate on group projects.


Set aside time for small groups to meet during class time, or establish a forum to support collaborative work between students outside of regular class time. Such forums can also archive student contributions, helping teachers better determine whether everyone in the group participated.

Build a collaborative knowledge base.

Students can contribute relevant course links and materials to an online location, creating a useful resource for everyone to share.

Watch the Robert Marzano video on Technology and Instructional Strategies.