Teaching Methods

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Some examples of methods that you can use for your peer teaching session as well as in other group settings where you want to facilitate cooperation, exchange and collective thinking:

  • discussion in small groups: groups of 4-6 people discuss a topic, or part of a topic and afterwards present their results in the plenary.
  • emerging definitions: participants form small groups to discuss definitions for certain terms. It is not about finding the "one" "right" definition, but to collectively understand different aspects of a term.
  • differentiation exercises: participants position themselves in the room along a line or matrix, depending on the question or topic. While standing in the room, the facilitator gives every position (person or group of people standing next to each other) the option to tell something about why they are standing where they are standing.
  • scenarios/vignettes: you prepare short descriptions of scenarios, based on which the group can discuss by comparison and contrast.
  • silent discussion: there is one or more stations with flip chart paper (e.g. on a table) and pens to write on it - usually you alread put a topic or questions in the center of the flip chart before. Then all participants are invited to go around and write down their thoughts on the flip charts, without verbally talking to each other. This way a non-verbal, "silent" discussion is facilitated.
  • speed-dating: participants talk each to too each other in pairs about a set topic or aspect. After a short time (e.g. 3 minutes) discussion partners rotate to the next pair.
  • mini-theaters and other elements using performances.

Here are some lists of collections with much more teaching methods that you may find helpful in designing your peer teaching session:

  • 101 Interactive techniques – a list of techniques for teaching and learning (particularly in university contexts).
  • Cooperative Learning Techniques – an overview of some widely used cooperative learning techniques
  • IAF methods - a databse of over 500 methods for group facilitation, with user ratings, partly editor-rated and with a filter function to search for methods (e.g. to search methods that are good for certain group sizes).
  • participatorymethods.org - a website dedicated to inclusive development and social change listing resources, tips and methods for facilitation, learning and empowering and other aspects of participatory engagement.
  • Facilitation tools & techniques @ learningforsustainability.net - a list of links and resources how to facilitate group interactions in an empowering and participatory way.
  • 50 CATS by Angelo and Cross – these are technically methods for 'assessing' students' knowledge/skills/etc., but some of them can be used for less assessment-focused work as well.

Only available in German, but very useful, if you want to increase inclusion in academic teaching, especially gender-based inclusion: trans*. inter*. nicht-binär. Lehr- und Lernräume an Hochschulen gestalten PDF brochure of the academy of fine arts vienna.