Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Strategies for Teaching

Whether an instructor teaches a seminar, lecture or other type of course, they can use various strategies to support student learning.  In particular, active learning is research-supported method that can lead to positive learning outcomes. Faculty can reserve the Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classroom at Yale to support this type of student-centered teaching and learning. Practical strategies on how to use the TEAL classroom including a guide to using the TEAL podium are included within this resource. Team-Based Learning and the Flipped Classroom are also described as two sample active-learning based teaching approaches. In addition, basic strategies for leading classroom discussions, improving lectures, collaborative learning, and teaching large classes are presented.

Active learning is broadly defined as "anything that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing" (Bonwell & Eison 2, emphasis added).
The Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classroom is a resource at Yale University that can facilitate a dynamic learning environment. This classroom is located at 17 Hillhouse Avenue Room 101 and is equipped with round tables for small group work, multiple projectors, screens, and whiteboards.
Class discussions are often a staple of seminar-style courses, although they need not be limited to such contexts. The educational benefits of class discussion are largely grounded in Vygotskyian social learning theory supporting dialogue between peers and instructors as important components of the learning process. Thus, when an instructor effectively facilitates rich discussion within their classroom, their students are more apt to build upon their existing knowledge frameworks and have better learning outcomes.
Lecture classes have been mostly characterized by slide presentations in large halls consisting of auditorium-style fixed seating. Today, however, more instructors are changing the way large classes are taught to make them more participatory. This section includes resources for effective lecturing, as well as how to supplement lecture with research-informed active learning strategies.
Team-based learning (TBL) is a pedagogical strategy that can motivate students and enhance their learning outcomes. TBL can be implemented in classes of varying sizes, including large lecture courses.
A flipped classroom often refers to a large course that used to be structured like a traditional lecture but has now been “flipped” so it’s structured more like your typical humanities seminar.
Many challenges of teaching large undergraduate classes stem from two central issues: the number and diversity of students. Because large classes with open enrollment attract a mix of learners, especially novice learners and students new to the field, large classes often require more structure than other courses to engage diverse learners.
Collaborative learning can be a powerful strategy in the classroom. Largely grounded in Vygotsky’s sociocultural theories of learning, group work can help students uncover and address gaps in knowledge as well as misconceptions, further developing their conceptual frameworks (John-Steiner and Mahn,1996).