Choosing Your Teaching Style

There are all types of teaching styles, but the best teaching style is the style that suits you. Below are some teaching styles and preparation tips to consider. You might even mix-and-match aspects of different teaching styles.

Telling a Story
Storytelling has played an important role in education and can be a strong learning experience for listeners. Stories can add to a presentation but only if they are good stories to share and connect to your learning objectives. Draw from your personal experiences or those from close colleagues. Follow the outline below to maximize the learning experience.

Outline:

  • Introduction to your topic and learning objectives
  • Story
  • Lessons Learned
  • Remedies
  • Preventative Measures

Tips for this teaching style:
Start by outlining your learning objectives. If you don’t know your audience, by a show of hands ask the audience how many can relate to your subject or learning objectives. This will help you know how long to spend on developing your story. Some may consider referring to a scene from a movie in their presentation. Don’t assume everyone in the room has seen the movie, though, no matter how popular it is. If you want to add this piece to your presentation consider adding a short video clip of the movie in your presentation.

Be the Expert
The voice of an expert provides the learner with advanced insight. It is a traditional teaching style. The expert shares his or her knowledge and is the formal authority.

Outline:

  • Introduction to your topic and learning objectives
  • Share knowledge and insight
  • Provide perspective and improve understanding
  • Advise learners

Tips for this teaching style:
Most likely you have been asked to present on your topic because of your expertise in this area so it is important to share your insight. Consider including future problems and trends in your presentation.

Sharing Scenarios
Similar to storytelling, sharing scenarios can be a great learning experience. This style can also be a blended learning style by engaging the audience and having them share scenarios they have encountered or reacting to your scenarios.

Outline:

  • Introduction to your topic and learning objectives
  • Scenario 1, questions and issues and feedback
  • Scenario 2, questions and issues and feedback
  • Scenario 3, questions and issues and feedback …
  • Conclude with summary of feedback provided

Tips for this teaching style:
Sharing scenarios can be a great way to share several angles of a practice area. Consider both common pitfalls and new developments when crafting your scenarios.

Facilitator or Group-Centered Teaching
This is a participatory learning experience and can include group participation. The learner takes responsibility for the learning tasks.

Outline:

  • Introduction to learning objectives
  • Introduce learning activity
  • Facilitating activity
  • Share feedback from each group

Tips for this teaching style:
Activities can include group collaboration on a case study, pre-quizzes, questionnaires or problem-solving activities. A mock trial or deposition is also commonly used in this teaching style.

Tips for ALL Styles
Regardless of teaching style, it is important to share with the audience the learning objectives of your presentation. Providing learning objectives helps you advance the learning experience for the learner. Learning objectives are outcome statements that tell the learner what knowledge or skill they will attain from your presentation. Also, consider providing a takeaway for your audience. This can be a final tip, readdressing a point made earlier in your presentation, or summarizing the main points. This will help you come full-circle to the learning objectives you started with. Having learning outcomes as a starting point and takeaways as an ending point might also help you in developing the materials themselves.

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