Teaching and Learing at Indiana University Bloomington
Teaching and Learing at Indiana University Bloomington
Teaching and Learning at IUB
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Handbook Table of Contents > Preparing to Teach > Selecting Instructional Strategies That Fit Objectives

Indiana University Teaching Handbook

Preparing to Teach

Selecting Instructional Strategies That Fit Objectives

Adapted with permission from Farris, 1985

The teaching strategies you select will depend directly on your course objectives. If you need to cover 50 years of research in ten weeks, and your primary goal is that students be able to recall the facts, you will probably use the “lecture and test” approach. If you want your students to be capable of applying course material, you will not only have to present factual material through readings and lectures, but also show them how to develop generalizations from the background knowledge (discussion, study problems, assignments). In addition, you will need to provide them with multiple opportunities to apply newly learned principles in novel situations (laboratory experiments, papers, case studies, small group projects, and examinations). For students to learn and remember a concept, they must see an example (and possibly even multiple examples), gain knowledge of the generalization, and apply the concept through an application activity that is as close to the real world as possible.

Matching instructional strategies to course objectives is an important part of the planning stage. To help you select teaching strategies compatible with your objectives, ask yourself some of the following questions:

By considering such questions, you can begin to formulate strategies and techniques that match the objectives you set for the course (adapted with permission from Ronkowski, 1986).

In summary, the planning stage of instruction consists of four steps:

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