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Forensic Science for Healthcare Professionals

Effective Teaching Strategies (2020)

The classroom is a dynamic environment that brings together students with different abilities and personalities from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, being an effective teacher requires creative and innovative teaching strategies and teaching philosophy to meet the individual needs of students.

Each teacher has his or her teaching style. And with the emergence of differentiated instruction as traditional teaching styles develop, more and more teachers are modifying their method based on the learning needs of their students to meet best teaching practices.

Whether you've been teaching for a few months or many years, understanding which teaching techniques would work best with your students can be challenging.

There are several approaches to the opted teaching styles in current scenario, such as:

The Instructor or Demonstrator Style: By showing students what they need to know, the demonstrator retains the role of formal authority. The demonstrator is much like the teacher, but there are multimedia presentations, games, and experiments in their classes. On the one hand, this approach helps educators to use a range of styles, including seminars, workshops, and other interactive presentations. However, it can be an excellent approach to teach specific subjects like mathematics, music, physical education, and crafts. Still, in larger classrooms, it is not very easy to accommodate the individual needs of students.

The Specialist or Expert Style: This is more likely a teacher-centric style and often includes lengthy lecture sessions or one-way presentations. This style is compatible with large groups of students for certain areas in higher education and auditorium environments. However, It is a controversial method of teaching because of the lack of interaction between the teacher and the students.

The Implementer Style: This style is usually activity-based and often promotes self-learning and helps students develop skills in critical thinking and retain knowledge leading to self-actualization. The main challenge here is engaging with students and empowering them to learn rather than lecturing information and testing knowledge by memorizing them.

The amalgamated or blended Style: It reflects an integrated teaching approach that combines the personality and interest of the teacher with the needs of the students and methods that are appropriate for the curriculum.

There are number of factors affecting teaching and learning, some of them are:

1.     Diversity (internationally students) in the classroom
2.     Learning background of the student
3.     Active and passive students
4.     Interactive and non-interactive students
5.     Affinity towards the topic
6.     Style of teaching
7.     Articulation of the topic or the curriculum
8.     Infrastructure or facilities in the classrooms
9.     Competency and confidence of the teacher
10.  Wellbeing, state of mind, and health (mental and physical) of the teacher and student/s

Despite all these conditions, certain effective strategies can be employed by the teacher to make the session more learning-based with excellent outcomes.
Below are a few strategies that can help you in a particular environment to understand what works better with your students.

Inquiry-Based Strategy: This is considered as one of the best strategy, where a teacher poses a thought-provoking question that compels students to think over the topic and to come up with great answers and understanding through peer discussions. It helps and encourages students to investigate their ideas to improve their problem-solving abilities.

Supportive Strategy: Encourage mixed ability students to work together by encouraging activities for small groups. Students express their ideas and respond to others with more confidence and effective communication.

Visualization Strategy: In this strategy, the teacher gives them the visual and practical learning experience that helps them to understand the things in real-world. This may include presentations, field trips, direct classroom experiments, etc. One of the primary tools is to playing topic related videos in the classroom or sharing them with your students. Asking them to understand and analyze the facts through that visual aspect.

Technology-based learning: I have personally experienced by using the current technologies like smartphones, ipads, tablets along with the students, which makes it easy to set all at the same level and to make them understand altogether, and seeing them respond more effectively and interactively. However, the teacher has to keep in mind the misuse of these technologies by students in the classroom.

Group Discussions and Peer Learning: The teacher can form several groups in the class based on the number of students and then giving them a particular task to solve. This will also help the slow learners to mix up with the pace of the other students in the group.

Group Discussion

Conclusion: There are several other ways and pedagogical approaches a teacher can adopt for effective teaching and learning environment in the classroom. However, the most effective is the use of technology, which keeps the students interested and interactive in the class. The more interactive will be the students, more significant will be the learning outcomes. The more focus should be given to the slow learners when using a group approach with the aid of technology.

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